The Intergenerational Persistence Immigrant Mortality Advantage

Mer, 10/27/2021 - 13:00 / 14:45

205AB, Viale Romania

Speaker: Joshua Goldstein , University of California, Berkeley


Immigrants tend to live longer than natives, despite often having lower education and income, a phenomenon known as the "immigrant healthparadox.'' Here I use newly available historical data to track the longevity of immigrants, their children, and subsequent generations in the United States over the course of the 20th century. I find first that immigrants from a large variety of countries (including Italy, Japan, Syria, Mexico, and Norway) have large longevity advantages, relative to U.S. natives. Second, I find a remarkably similar pattern of advantage is found in the children and descendents of immigrants. Third, I am not able to explain these patterns with the usual measures of income, education, and place of residence, or with measures of assimilation such as first name choice and proximity to co-ethnic neighbors.  Instead, it appears that most immigrant groups are select in more powerful ways than previously thought and are able somehow to pass these advantages on to their children.