The Impact of Immigration on Child Health: Experimental Evidence from a Migration Lottery Program

20 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2012

See all articles by Steven Stillman

Steven Stillman

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

John Gibson

University of Waikato; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

David J. McKenzie

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

Date Written: January 2012

Abstract

This paper uses a unique survey designed by the authors to compare migrant children who enter New Zealand through a random ballot with children in the home country of Tonga whose families were unsuccessful participants in the same ballots. We find that migration increases height and reduces stunting of infants and toddlers, but also increases BMI and obesity among 3‐ to 5‐yr‐olds. These impacts are quite large even though the average migrant household has been in New Zealand for less than 1 yr. Additional results suggest that these impacts occur because of dietary change rather than direct income effects.

JEL Classification: J61, I12, F22

Suggested Citation

Stillman, Steven and Gibson, John and McKenzie, David John, The Impact of Immigration on Child Health: Experimental Evidence from a Migration Lottery Program (January 2012). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 50, Issue 1, pp. 62-81, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1980534 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2009.00284.x

Steven Stillman (Contact Author)

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

John Gibson

University of Waikato ( email )

Te Raupapa
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton, 3240
New Zealand

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

19 Milne Terrace
Island Bay
Wellington, 6002
New Zealand

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

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