Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez*, Jose N Martinez and Erick Rangel Gonzalez
Favorable economic conditions are typically correlated with good health outcomes. However, Mexican immigrants in the U.S., although economically disadvantaged, tend to present better health outcomes than non-Hispanic Whites. This phenomenon is known as the Mexican-American Health Paradox. Using a variant of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition methodology proposed by Martinez et al., and combining health data from Mexico and the U.S., this paper seeks to explain the Mexican-American Health Paradox for two different age cohorts. Our findings suggest that, if Mexican migrants had on average the same unobserved characteristics as non-migrants in Mexico their relative health status in the US would be even better. Our results highlight the importance of taking into account age differences of migrants and show that selectivity is a complex process that does not work in the same way for different age cohorts.