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Natural Experiment Evidence on the Effect of Migration on Blood Pressure and Hypertension

Author

Listed:
  • Gibson, John

    (University of Waikato)

  • Stillman, Steven

    (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)

  • McKenzie, David

    (World Bank)

  • Rohorua, Halahingano

    (University of Waikato)

Abstract

Over 200 million people live outside their country of birth and experience large gains in material well-being by moving to where wages are higher. But the effect of this migration on health is less clear and existing evidence is ambiguous because of the potential for self-selection bias. In this paper, we use a natural experiment, comparing successful and unsuccessful applicants to a migration lottery to experimentally estimate the impact of migration on measured blood pressure and hypertension. Hypertension is a leading global health problem, as well as being an important health measure that responds quickly to migration. We use various econometric estimators to form bounds on the treatment effects since there appears to be selective non-compliance in the natural experiment. Even with these bounds the results suggest significant and persistent increases in blood pressure and hypertension, which have implications for future health budgets given the recent worldwide increases in immigration.

Suggested Citation

  • Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2010. "Natural Experiment Evidence on the Effect of Migration on Blood Pressure and Hypertension," IZA Discussion Papers 5232, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5232
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    20. Steven Stillman & John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2012. "The Impact Of Immigration On Child Health: Experimental Evidence From A Migration Lottery Program," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 62-81, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stillman, Steven & Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2015. "Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 79-93.
    2. Ajay Mahal & Lainie Sutton, 2014. "Economic prosperity and non-communicable disease: understanding the linkages," Chapters, in: Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha & Anil B. Deolalikar (ed.), Handbook on Food, chapter 12, pages 278-324, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Isabelle Sin & Judd Ormsby, 2019. "The settlement experience of Pacific migrants in New Zealand: Insights from LISNZ and the IDI," Working Papers 19_02, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    4. David McKenzie, 2012. "Learning about migration through experiments," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1207, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    5. John Gibson & Riccardo Scarpa & Halahingano Rohorua, 2013. "Respiratory Health of Pacific Island Immigrants and Preferences for Indoor Air Quality Determinants in New Zealand," Working Papers in Economics 13/09, University of Waikato.
    6. Lídia Farré, 2016. "New evidence on the healthy immigrant effect," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 365-394, April.
    7. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 119-177, Elsevier.
    8. Baldwin, Kate & Bhavnani, Rikhil R., 2013. "Ancillary Experiments: Opportunities and Challenges," WIDER Working Paper Series 024, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Antonio Fidalgo & Alberto Holly & Marco Pecoraro & Philippe Wanner, 2016. "A nonparametric analysis of the healthy immigrant effect," IRENE Working Papers 16-15, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    blood pressure; hypertension; lottery; migration; natural experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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