'Cultural Persistence' of Health Capital: Evidence from European Migrants

31 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2016

See all articles by Joan Costa-Font

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Azusa Sato

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

We examine the persistence of the association between subjective health assessments of both first and second-generation migrants with that of their country of origin. To mitigate potential selection bias, we use European data containing records from 30 countries, including over 90 countries of birth and control for timing of migration, selective migration and other variables including citizenship and cultural proxies. Our results show robust evidence of persistence of health assessments, and such associations do not fade over generations. We estimate that a one standard deviation change in ancestral health assessment increases a first-generation migrant’s health assessments by an average of 16%, and that of a second-generation migrant between 11% and 25%. Estimates differ by gender (larger for males) and lineage (larger for paternal lineage). Hence, we can posit that self-reported health largely reflects country-of-origin specific social norms.

Keywords: assimilation, health, health assessments, cultural persistence, first generation migrant, second generation migrant

JEL Classification: I180, H230, Z130

Suggested Citation

Costa-Font, Joan and Sato, Azusa, 'Cultural Persistence' of Health Capital: Evidence from European Migrants (October 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5964. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2814466

Joan Costa-Font (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://joancostaifont.org/

Azusa Sato

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

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