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Why Does the Health of Immigrants Deteriorate? Evidence from Birth Records

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  • Giuntella, Osea

    () (University of Pittsburgh)

Abstract

Despite their lower socioeconomic status, Hispanic immigrants in the United States initially have better health outcomes than natives. Paradoxically while second-generation immigrants assimilate socio-economically, their health deteriorates. I show that a model of selection and intergenerational transmission of health reverses the apparent paradox, predicting a worse deterioration than the one observed in the data. While higher incidence of risk factors and acculturation are associated with poorer health, the “reverse paradox” is explained by the relative persistence in healthy behaviors among Hispanics. These effects hold true even in a subset of siblings, and holding constant grandmother-fixed effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuntella, Osea, 2013. "Why Does the Health of Immigrants Deteriorate? Evidence from Birth Records," IZA Discussion Papers 7588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7588
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    Cited by:

    1. Osea Giuntella & Catia Nicodemo & Carlos Vargas Silva, 2015. "The Effects of Immigration on NHS Waiting Times," Economics Papers 2015-W04, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    2. Osea Giuntella, 2016. "Assimilation and Health: Evidence From Linked Birth Records of Second- and Third-Generation Hispanics," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 1979-2004, December.
    3. Giuntella, Osea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "Do Immigrants Bring Good Health?," IZA Discussion Papers 8073, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    birth outcomes; birthweight; intermarriage; risky behaviors; siblings; Latino paradox;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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