Natural Experiment Evidence on the Effect of Migration on Blood Pressure and Hypertension

34 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2010

See all articles by John Gibson

John Gibson

University of Waikato; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Steven Stillman

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

David J. McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Halahingano Rohorua

University of Waikato

Abstract

Over 200 million people live outside their country of birth and experience large gains in material well-being by moving to where wages are higher. But the effect of this migration on health is less clear and existing evidence is ambiguous because of the potential for self-selection bias. In this paper, we use a natural experiment, comparing successful and unsuccessful applicants to a migration lottery to experimentally estimate the impact of migration on measured blood pressure and hypertension. Hypertension is a leading global health problem, as well as being an important health measure that responds quickly to migration. We use various econometric estimators to form bounds on the treatment effects since there appears to be selective non-compliance in the natural experiment. Even with these bounds the results suggest significant and persistent increases in blood pressure and hypertension, which have implications for future health budgets given the recent worldwide increases in immigration.

Keywords: blood pressure, hypertension, lottery, migration, natural experiment

JEL Classification: C21, I12, J61

Suggested Citation

Gibson, John and Stillman, Steven and McKenzie, David John and Rohorua, Halahingano, Natural Experiment Evidence on the Effect of Migration on Blood Pressure and Hypertension. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5232, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1693329

John Gibson (Contact Author)

University of Waikato ( email )

Te Raupapa
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton, 3240
New Zealand

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

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Wellington, 6002
New Zealand

Steven Stillman

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano ( email )

Via Sernesi 1
39100 Bozen-Bolzano (BZ), Bozen 39100
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

David John McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Halahingano Rohorua

University of Waikato ( email )

Te Raupapa
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton, 3240
New Zealand

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