Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Demography

First Advisor

Michel Guillot

Abstract

This dissertation contains three chapters covering relationships between mortality, health, migration. Using a discrete time failure model via pooled logistic regression, chapter one shows that self-rated health is a significant predictor of mortality in rural Malawi, a context that differs greatly from those in most previous studies. This indicates that the well-established relationship between self-rated health and mortality extends to even the most resource poor settings. In chapter two, life tables are created for each state in the United States that allow for the measurement of migration over the full life course. The results show that migrants are generally positively selected on their health, and more importantly that migration reduces inequality in mortality between states. This is a contrast to other research on geographical inequality in mortality, which typically does not point to migration as a driver of other observed mortality trends. Finally, using a marginal model through generalized estimating equations, analysis in chapter three shows the varying degree to which internal migrants in the United States are selected on their health. Individuals were selected most significantly on measures of disability, and analyzing only married couples gave the strongest results by showing how individuals can be selected on a spouse’s health. Since couples often move together, marriage is an important dimension of health selective migration on the individual level in the United States.

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