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Journal Article

Internal migration, area effects and health: does where you move to impact upon your health?


Publication date

Jul 2015


Evidence surrounding the importance of neighbourhood on
health has been mostly restricted to observational data analyses. However,
observational data are often the only source of information available to test
this association and can fail to accurately draw out casual effects. This study
employs a pseudo-experimental design to provide a novel test for the evidence
of neighbourhood effects on health, using migration as a mechanism for assessing the role of neighbourhood. Coarsened exact matching was employed on
the British Household Panel Survey (2006–2008) to analyse the association
between migration (by area type, measured using a classification of mortality
patterns) and health. Although an overall significant positive association
between migration and health was observed, once the effect was disaggregated by
location and destination it disappeared. Rather, evidence of health selective
migration was found whereby individuals of poorer health migrated to areas that
displayed poorer health and social characteristics (and vice versa). Migration
is an important process that through the social sorting of individuals in terms
of their health, contributes to the growing polarisation and inequality in
health patterns. The study helps to build upon previous research through providing
a new and stronger form of analysis that reduces the influence of bias on
results. Incorporating this under-utilised methodology and research design in future studies could help develop public health and geographical research.

Published in

Social Science and Medicine

Volume and page numbers

136-137 , 27 -34





Area Effects, Migration, and Health



Online Early; Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*


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