Intergenerational Impact of Immigrants' Selection and Assimilation on Health Outcomes of Children
This study undertakes three comparisons using Cycle 2 (1996-97) data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) in Canada. First, the study compares the health outcomes of children of the Native-born Canadian (NBC) group with those of the immigrant group in general. Differences are also investigated within the three immigrant sub-groups: the American immigrant group, the European immigrant group and Asian immigrant group. Second, this study tests the hypothesis that the children of any immigrant group in Canada would have a higher level of health outcomes for the same level of resources. Third, the study examines the association of time of residency of immigrants in different groups and the health outcomes of their children. An immigrant family is defined as one in which at least one of the parents is foreign-born. Health outcomes are measured by the PMK's (person most knowledgeable about the child) assessment of the child's health. Ordered logit models are employed for estimation. The children selected for analysis are 4 to 13 years of age. The NLSCY data suggest that the health outcomes of children in the immigrant families in general are similar to that in the NBC group. However, the health outcomes of the Asian immigrant group are slightly lower and those of the American immigrant group are markedly better. Except for the American immigrant group, there is evidence that the children of any other immigrant group would have lower health status for the same level of resources. Decomposition results indicate that a higher level of observable and unobservable resources is responsible for markedly better outcomes for the American immigrant group; while a lower level of observable and unobservable resources is responsible for the lower level of outcomes for the Asian immigrant group. On the other hand, health outcomes are higher for the European immigrant group than for the NBC group when variation in resources is considered, while lower when variation in productivity coefficients is examined. Finally, there is statistical evidence that the health status of children of immigrant families would improve with the time of residency of immigrant parents, if it were lower initially. The findings of the study indicate that present health outcomes of children in the immigrant families, on average, are not a great concern. However, those of the Asian immigrant group may be a concern.
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