New Evidence on the Healthy Immigrant Effect

65 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2013

See all articles by Lidia Farré

Lidia Farré

Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - Institute for Economic Analysis; Universidad de Alicante


This paper provides new empirical evidence on the contribution of selective migration to the health advantage of immigrants upon arrival to the new destination (i.e. the Healthy Immigrant Effect). It analyses a very interesting episode in international migration, namely the exodus of Ecuadorians in the aftermath of the economic collapse in the late 1990s. Between 1999 and 2005, more than 600,000 Ecuadorians left the country and most of them headed towards Spain. Using administrative data from the Vital Statistics, it compares the health distribution (in terms of birth outcomes) of immigrant children born in Spain to that of non-immigrants in Ecuador and immigrants from other nationalities, and not only to that of natives at destination. These comparisons suggest that positive selection is partly responsible for the health advantage of recent immigrants.

Keywords: immigration, selection, health, birth outcomes

JEL Classification: J61, I14, C14

Suggested Citation

Farré, Lidia, New Evidence on the Healthy Immigrant Effect. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7840, Available at SSRN:

Lidia Farré (Contact Author)

Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - Institute for Economic Analysis ( email )

UAB Campus
E-08193 Bellaterra

Universidad de Alicante ( email )

Campus de San Vicente
Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig
San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante 03690

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics