Immigration and Health: New Results from the New Immigrant Survey Cohort of 2003

Guillermina Jasso, New York University
Mark R. Rosenzweig, Yale University
James P. Smith, RAND

This paper explores immigrant health, focusing on two main questions -- concerning health selectivity among immigrants to the United States and health changes after immigration -- and using a new data source, the 2003 cohort of the New Immigrant Survey. We develop a model which distinguishes three sources of health changes -- visa stress, migration stress, and U.S. exposure -- and which implies that the appropriate time for measuring health selectivity is at the time of the migration decision, before the onset of the three kinds of stress. Besides estimating the models of health selection and health change, we also empirically examine visa depression and BMI. We find, for example, that BMI is higher among new immigrants who are already in the United States at admission to LPR, and that female thinness is an asset not only in the international marriage market but also in the early years of a marriage.

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Presented in Session 104: Immigrant Health