Health Selection of Internal Migrants in Mexico: Evidence from the Mexican Family Life Survey
Erika Arenas, University of California, Los Angeles
Recent research on migration supports the idea that migrants are positively selected for health. This paper tests this hypothesis in the context of internal migration in Mexico, using nationally representative longitudinal data from waves 2002 and 2005 of the Mexican Family Life Survey. To evaluate the healthy migrant hypothesis I examine relationships between the probability a respondent moved between 2002 and 2005 and his or her health, using logit regressions. Health measures used in previous studies include mortality rates, self-reported physical health, disability and chronic conditions, and no study used objective measures prior to the move. I include objective health measures (height, BMI, hemoglobin, blood pressure) and subjective measures (self-assessments, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, physical activity and chronic conditions), all of them taken prior to the move. I expect that young adult migrants will have greater health endowments than non-migrants, whereas older adult migrants will show no comparative health advantage.