Handbook of Migration and Health
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Handbook of Migration and Health

Edited by Felicity Thomas

Migration is now firmly embedded as a leading global policy issue of the twenty-first century. Whilst not a new phenomenon, it has altered significantly in recent decades, with changing demographics, geopolitics, conflict, climate change and patterns of global development shaping new types of migration. Against this evolving backdrop, this Handbook offers an authoritative overview of key debates underpinning migration and health in a contemporary global context.
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Chapter 2: The link between migration and health

Yao Lu and Alice Tianbo Zhang


In this chapter, we discuss three major mechanisms underlying the relationship between migration and health by synthesizing existing literature and highlighting the empirical challenges in causal identification. First, we examine the extent to which individuals are differentially selected into migration by health conditions and how health facilitates or constrains individuals’ decision to return, as posited by the “healthy migrant” and “salmon bias” hypotheses. Second, we show that the impact of migration on the health of migrants is multifaceted and can be mediated through various socioeconomic and psychosocial pathways. Third, we demonstrate how migration is linked to the health of people left behind in origin communities and how the relationship operates through both economic resources (remittances) and psychosocial processes (family separation). We conclude by underlining knowledge gaps in the current literature and offering suggestions for future areas of research.

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