The long run health consequences of rural-urban migration

Janna E. Johnson, Evan J. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Rural-urban migration is an integral part of the structural transformation as societies move from a traditional agricultural economy to a modern economy. This process has many potential consequences for migrants. Our study focuses on the lifetime health effects of the large mid-20th century migration out of rural U.S. Northern Great Plains states, primarily to urban locations in the West and Midwest. An analysis of marginal treatment effects (MTEs) shows that (a) migrants are positively selected, and (b) the causal impact of migration is decreased longevity. Our evidence suggests that elevated mortality among migrants is linked to increased smoking and alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-606
Number of pages42
JournalQuantitative Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • marginal treatment effects
  • mortality
  • Rural-urban migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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