'Cultural Persistence' of Health Capital: Evidence from European Migrants
31 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2016
Date Written: October 2017
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: Suggested Citation