Osea Giuntella, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the COMPAS seminar series.
Despite a lower average socioeconomic status, recent immigrants in many advanced economies have better health outcomes than the incumbent residents in the hosting countries. Paradoxically, this initial health advantage erodes with time spent in the destination country, despite immigrants’ socio-economic assimilation. In the talk I will discuss the role of selection, acculturation, socio-economic and occupational characteristics in explaining immigrants’ health trajectories presenting evidence from some of my recent work on migration and health in the US, UK, and Germany. Furthermore, I will examine different mechanisms through which immigration can have effects on the health of incumbent residents. First, immigration has important effects on the allocation of tasks and job-related risks in the labour market. Second, immigration can have effects on healthy behaviours by affecting both the demand and the supply of healthy products and by increasing product variety and access to healthy options in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.