Does Moving Kill? The Effect of Migration on Older-Age Mortality
Janna Johnson, NORC at the University of Chicago
Evan Taylor, University of Michigan
This paper employs an instrumental variables strategy and a unique source of data to estimate the impact of long-distance migration on mortality over age 65. We consider individuals born in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana between 1916 and 1927. This group migrated out of these states at a very high rate and before the age of 40. We show migrants have higher education and earnings than non-migrants, two characteristics shown to increase longevity. To control for the selection on these and other characteristics, we instrument for migration using distance of an individual's place of birth from a railroad. Our results show that given that one has reached age 65, migration reduces the probability of living to age 75 by 16% compared to those who do not migrate. This finding has implications for countries currently experiencing high internal migration and for research investigating the causal relationship between education and health.
Presented in Session 196: Migration and Adult Health