Destination Matters: Long-Term Mortality Consequence of Childhood Migration Experience, Historical Evidence from Northeast China, 1792-1909

Hao Dong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This paper is one of the first studies to shed light on the long-term mortality consequences of migration and resettlement on children. I also explore different pathways for such early-life experience by including a measure of social integration at destination. I trace 80379 males (1193 of whom have childhood migration) from childhood onwards, living in 594 northeast China villages between 1792 and 1909. I take advantage of discrete-time event-history method and introduce fixed effects of grandfather to account for unobservable characteristics of descendent group. From age 16 to 45, good social integration at destination mediates the negative effects of childhood migration and significantly lowers the mortality risks. For those above age 45, childhood migration itself has positive selection effects on mortality. Such findings underline the importance of social integration at destination for migrant families and public policy makers to consider when planning migration and resettlement with children involved.

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Presented in Session 31: Migration, Residential Mobility, and Population Health