The Effects of Migration on Child Health in Mexico

35 Pages Posted: 6 May 2005

See all articles by David J. McKenzie

David J. McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nicole Hildebrandt

Stanford University

Date Written: April 2005


This paper investigates the impact of international migration on child health outcomes in rural Mexico using a nationally representative demographic survey. Historic migration networks are employed as instruments for current household migration to the United States in order to correct for the possible endogeneity of migrant status. Children in migrant households are found to have lower rates of infant mortality and higher birthweights. We study the channels through which migration may affect health outcomes and find evidence that migration raises health knowledge in addition to the direct effect on wealth. However we also find that preventative health care, such as breastfeeding and vaccinations, is less likely for children in migrant households. These results provide a broader and more nuanced view of the health consequences of migration than is offered by the existing literature.

Keywords: migration, child health, infant mortality, health knowledge

JEL Classification: O15, I12, F22

Suggested Citation

McKenzie, David John and Hildebrandt, Nicole, The Effects of Migration on Child Health in Mexico (April 2005). Available at SSRN:

David John McKenzie (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Nicole Hildebrandt

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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