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The effects of migration on child health in Mexico

  • Hildebrandt, Nicole
  • McKenzie, David

The authors investigate the impact of international migration on child health outcomes in rural Mexico using a nationally representative demographic survey. They use historic migration networks as instruments for current household migration to the United States in order to correct for the possible endogeneity of migrant status. They find that children in migrant households have lower rates of infant mortality and higher birth-weights. The authors study the channels through which migration may affect health outcomes and find evidence that migration raises health knowledge in addition to the direct effect on wealth. However they also find that preventative health care, such as breastfeeding and vaccinations, is less likely for children in migrant households. These results provide a broader and more nuanced view of the health consequences of migration than is offered by the existing literature.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3573.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3573
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  1. Winters, Paul C. & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1999. "Family And Community Networks In Mexico-U.S. Migration," Working Papers 12907, University of New England, School of Economics.
  2. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
  3. Shawn Kanaiaupuni & Katharine Donato, 1999. "Migradollars and mortality: The effects of migration on infant survival in Mexico," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 339-353, August.
  4. David Mckenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Network Effects and the Dynamics of Migration and Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2004-3, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  5. Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Wealthier is healthier," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1150, The World Bank.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist, 1991. "Instrumental Variables Estimation of Average Treatment Effects in Econometrics and Epidemiology," NBER Technical Working Papers 0115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
  9. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  10. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
  11. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
  12. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  13. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
  14. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
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