The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 257–266 | Cite as

Association between cultural distance and migrant self-rated health

  • Jens Detollenaere
  • Stijn Baert
  • Sara Willems
Original Paper


We study whether migrant health in Europe is associated with the cultural distance between their host country and country of origin. To this end, we run multilevel regression models on data merging self-rated health and social background of ≥3800 migrants from the European Social Survey with an index of cultural distance based on country differences in values, norms and attitudes measured in the World Values Survey. We find that higher levels of cultural distance are associated with worse migrant health. This association is comparable in size with the negative association between health and female (compared with male) gender but less important than the association between health and education level. In addition, this association is less significant among second-generation than first-generation migrants.


Europe Culture Health Migrants 

JEL Classification

F22 I14 I18 J15 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Research Foundation-FlandersBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.University of AntwerpAntwerpenBelgium
  5. 5.Université catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  6. 6.IZABonnGermany

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