Where Do People Live Longer?

68 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2019

Date Written: October 24, 2019

Abstract

Can historical exposures of non-European countries to European migrants explain part of their current health outcomes? We find that higher European share of the colonial population robustly raised life expectancy and reduced both fertility and infant mortality rates of present-day population in these former colonies. A causal interpretation is given to these results by considering various identification strategies. Overall, our results indicate that health fortunes around the world on average improved because of European colonial settlers and that differences in the current levels of health performance can be traced back to differential levels of European colonial settlements, where countries that experienced higher influx of colonial Europeans have better health prosperity nowadays than countries with lower inflow of colonial Europeans. We demonstrate that differences in the functioning of institutions and human capital accumulation appear to be the main intervening factors through which the European share of the colonial population has impacted current levels of national health, even though there appears to be a degree of support for gender inequality, culture, and self-reported perceptions of well-being to play some roles in transmitting the benefits of colonial European migration policies to health outcomes today.

Keywords: History, Migration, European colonial population, Longevity, Fertility, Mortality

JEL Classification: B15, F63, I10, J10, N30, O10

Suggested Citation

Oyekola, Olayinka, Where Do People Live Longer? (October 24, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3475072 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3475072

Olayinka Oyekola (Contact Author)

University of Exeter INTO ( email )

Stocker Rd
Exeter, EX4 4PY
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.olayinkaoyekola.com

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