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Reexamination of “Healthy Immigrant Effect” of Migrant Workers in China
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TitleReexamination of “Healthy Immigrant Effect” of Migrant Workers in China  
AuthorMa Chao and Qu Zhaopeng  
OrganizationSchool of Public Health, Southeast University School of Public Health, Yale University;School of Business, Nanjing University; 
Key WordsHealthy Immigrant Effect; Equality of Opportunity; Mental Health; Migrant Workers  
AbstractA key stylized fact that is generally supported in the literature is the Healthy Immigrant Effect (HIE), which means immigrants are healthier than their native counterparts. Using the nationwide data of RUMiC2008-2009, this paper finds a conflict between the results of the descriptive statistic and the regression. Therefore, we use the Theory of the Equality of Opportunity(EOP) to decompose the HIE to identify the reason for the conflict. The results show that, according to the legitimate “effort characteristic effects”, migrant workers are supposed to have a better mental health level than the native urban residents (0.145 unit), but inequality of opportunity leads to a decrease of 0.257 unit in terms of mental health. Ultimately, migrant workers have a worse mental health level than the native urban residents (0.112 unit). In addition, the mental health level of migrant workers is better than the non-migrant rural residents and the migrant workers who returned home. This reflects the self-selection migrant effects and the salmon effects. The main reason for the two effects is the legitimate “effort characteristic effects” rather than the inequality of opportunity. 
Serial NumberWP1301 
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