The Acceleration of Immigrant Unhealthy Assimilation

14 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2016

See all articles by Osea Giuntella

Osea Giuntella

University of Oxford

Luca Stella

Bocconi University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics


It is well-known that immigrants tend to be healthier than US natives and that this advantage erodes with time spent in the US. However, we know less about the heterogeneity of these trajectories among arrival cohorts. Recent studies have shown that later arrival cohorts of immigrants have lower entry wages and experience less economic assimilation. In this paper, we investigate whether similar cohort effects can be observed in the weight assimilation of immigrants in the US. Focusing on obesity, we show that more recent immigrant cohorts arrive with higher obesity rates and experience a faster "unhealthy assimilation" in terms of weight gain.

Keywords: health assimilation, healthy immigrant effect

JEL Classification: J15, I10

Suggested Citation

Giuntella, Osea and Stella, Luca, The Acceleration of Immigrant Unhealthy Assimilation. Available at SSRN: or

Osea Giuntella (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

No Address Available

Luca Stella

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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