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The Acceleration of Immigrant Unhealthy Assimilation

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  • Giuntella, Osea

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Stella, Luca

    (Free University of Berlin)

Abstract

It is well-known that immigrants tend to be healthier than US natives and that this advantage erodes with time spent in the US. However, we know less about the heterogeneity of these trajectories among arrival cohorts. Recent studies have shown that later arrival cohorts of immigrants have lower entry wages and experience less economic assimilation. In this paper, we investigate whether similar cohort effects can be observed in the weight assimilation of immigrants in the US. Focusing on obesity, we show that more recent immigrant cohorts arrive with higher obesity rates and experience a faster "unhealthy assimilation" in terms of weight gain.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuntella, Osea & Stella, Luca, 2016. "The Acceleration of Immigrant Unhealthy Assimilation," IZA Discussion Papers 9664, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9664
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    1. George J. Borjas, 2015. "The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 483-517.
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    5. Leigh Ann Leung, 2014. "Healthy And Unhealthy Assimilation: Country Of Origin And Smoking Behavior Among Immigrants," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(12), pages 1411-1429, December.
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    9. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2008. "Immigrant Selection Systems And Immigrant Health," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 555-578, October.
    10. Cawley, John & Meyerhoefer, Chad, 2012. "The medical care costs of obesity: An instrumental variables approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 219-230.
    11. Fernando Riosmena & Rebeca Wong & Alberto Palloni, 2013. "Migration Selection, Protection, and Acculturation in Health: A Binational Perspective on Older Adults," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 1039-1064, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola, 2016. "The heterogeneity in immigrants unhealthy assimilation," MPRA Paper 71560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Constant, Amelie F. & Milewski, Nadja, 2021. "Self-selection in physical and mental health among older intra-European migrants," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 19(C).
    3. Bhagyashree Katare & Timothy K. M. Beatty, 2018. "Do environmental factors drive obesity? Evidence from international graduate students," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(10), pages 1567-1593, October.
    4. Janisch, Laura M., 2017. "Mental health assimilation of Australian immigrants," Ruhr Economic Papers 728, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    5. Nguyen, Hieu, 2019. "How does alcohol access affect transitional adults’ healthy dietary behaviors?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 82-95.
    6. Oshan, Taylor M. & Smith, Jordan & Fotheringham, Alexander Stewart, 2020. "Targeting the spatial context of obesity determinants via multiscale geographically weighted regression," OSF Preprints u7j29, Center for Open Science.
    7. Gabriella Berloffa & Francesca Paolini, 2019. "Decomposing Immigrant Differences in Physical and Mental Health: A 'Beyond the Mean' Analysis," DEM Working Papers 2019/4, Department of Economics and Management.
    8. Giuntella, Osea, 2017. "Why does the health of Mexican immigrants deteriorate? New evidence from linked birth records," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1-16.
    9. Amelie F. Constant & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Tzahi Neuman, 2018. "A “healthy immigrant effect” or a “sick immigrant effect”? Selection and policies matter," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(1), pages 103-121, January.
    10. George J. Borjas & David J.G. Slusky, 2018. "Health, Employment, and Disability: Implications from the Undocumented Population," NBER Working Papers 24504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Michel Guillot & Myriam Khlat & Irma Elo & Matthieu Solignac & Matthew Wallace, 2018. "Understanding age variations in the migrant mortality advantage: An international comparative perspective," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(6), pages 1-17, June.
    12. Bousmah, Marwân-al-Qays & Combes, Jean-Baptiste Simon & Abu-Zaineh, Mohammad, 2019. "Health differentials between citizens and immigrants in Europe: A heterogeneous convergence," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 235-243.
    13. Sukanya Basu & Michael A. Insler, 2018. "The Body Mass Index Assimilation of US Immigrants: Do Diet and Exercise Contribute?," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 337-363, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    healthy immigrant effect; health assimilation;

    JEL classification:

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

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