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The heterogeneity in immigrants unhealthy assimilation

Barbieri, Paolo Nicola (2016): The heterogeneity in immigrants unhealthy assimilation.

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Immigrants upon their arrival in the United States are in better health condition with respect to their American counterpart however such advantage erodes over time. In this paper, we study the heterogeneity of such unhealthy behaviours assimilation among different arrival cohorts. We focus our analysis on binge drinking and cigarette consumption as a proxy for unhealthy behaviour assimilation by immigrants. Regarding binge drinking we show that more recent immigrant cohorts arrive with a higher probability of being binge drinker and experience a faster "unhealthy assimilation" in terms of increased consumption of alcohol and an increase in the probability of starting to drink over guideline on a daily basis. Such assimilation is less pronounced for smoking habits, in fact both earlier and later arrival cohorts report lower smoking rates. However, such health advantage is decreasing with time spent in the US.

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