Migration and Health Selectivity in the Context of Internal Migration in China, 1997–2009

Migration and Health Selectivity in the Context of Internal Migration in China, 1997–2009 Using data from the 1997–2009 waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey, we examine the ‘healthy migrant hypothesis’ in a setting where internal migrants face significant barriers to movement. Going beyond much of the existing literature in the Chinese context, we use an appropriate comparison between migrants and non-migrants at origin, using detailed health measures, and data spanning a wider geographic and temporal extent than had been previously considered. Consistent with research from both international migration contexts and other internal migration settings, we find that migrants are positively selected on the basis of health, although the relationship between health and migration diminishes across time. The strongest evidence for health selection comes from a subjective self-reported health measure, although we also find evidence for selection against those experiencing acute health conditions. We speculate that the across-time differentiation may be caused by the rapid social, economic and policy changes in China’s economic reform era. Thus, we suggest that migration scholars should consider the changing macro context when theorizing about selection factors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

Migration and Health Selectivity in the Context of Internal Migration in China, 1997–2009

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Demography; Sociology, general; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11113-012-9240-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Using data from the 1997–2009 waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey, we examine the ‘healthy migrant hypothesis’ in a setting where internal migrants face significant barriers to movement. Going beyond much of the existing literature in the Chinese context, we use an appropriate comparison between migrants and non-migrants at origin, using detailed health measures, and data spanning a wider geographic and temporal extent than had been previously considered. Consistent with research from both international migration contexts and other internal migration settings, we find that migrants are positively selected on the basis of health, although the relationship between health and migration diminishes across time. The strongest evidence for health selection comes from a subjective self-reported health measure, although we also find evidence for selection against those experiencing acute health conditions. We speculate that the across-time differentiation may be caused by the rapid social, economic and policy changes in China’s economic reform era. Thus, we suggest that migration scholars should consider the changing macro context when theorizing about selection factors.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 7, 2012

References

  • Self-selection and the earnings of immigrants
    Borjas, G. J.
  • Is China abolishing the Hukou system?
    Chan, KW; Buckingham, Will
  • The hukou system and rural-urban migration in China: Processes and changes
    Chan, K. W.; Zhang, L.
  • Residential patterns of parents and their married children in contemporary China: A life course approach
    Chen, F
  • The effects of migration on child health in Mexico
    Hildebrandt, N.; McKenzie, D.

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