06 October 2010

Migration: Good for your wallet, not so good for your blood pressure

Over 200 million people live outside their country of birth and experience large gains in material well-being by moving to where wages are higher. But the effect of this migration on health is less clear and existing evidence is ambiguous because of the potential for self-selection bias. In this paper, we use a natural experiment, comparing successful and unsuccessful applicants to a migration lottery to experimentally estimate the impact of migration on measured blood pressure and hypertension…
the results suggest significant and persistent increases in blood pressure and hypertension, which have implications for future health budgets given the recent worldwide increases in immigration.
From a new Working Paper by John Gibson, Steven Stillman, David McKenzie, and Halahingano Rohorua. David McKenzie is an IPA research affiliate and has lots of interesting research on migration.
Don’t say my migration coverage is one-sided.
In other migration news,
Immigrants should pay a bond of £5,000 to cover the costs of using public services, a key ally of David Cameron suggests.
Tory MP Nick Boles – a friend and former aide of the Prime Minister – has urged the Government to impose a ‘surety’ on migrants before granting them visas.
Which almost sounds like Gary Becker’s proposal to charge immigrants for entry. Sounds like a good idea to me. If there are health costs to the public purse from migration and migrants are willing to pay those costs out of their massively increased earnings, then why the hell not?

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