Unraveling the Hispanic Health Paradox
AbstractIn 2019, Hispanics in the US had a life expectancy advantage of 3.0 years and 7.1 years over non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks, respectively, despite having real-household income values 26 percentage points lower than Non-Hispanic White households. Hispanics appear to have equal or even better health outcomes relative to non-Hispanic Whites across various health measures. This is known as the Hispanic health paradox. This paper underscores the importance of disaggregating Hispanics by ancestry and age profile when discussing the paradox across key health outcomes. It also provides an overview of the leading explanations, such as the salmon bias and the healthy immigrant effect. Further, it highlights the role of healthcare access and usage in this discussion. Ignoring these sources of bias have important consequences for how morbidity and mortality among Hispanics are measured within widely used national datasets.
CitationFernandez, José, Mónica García-Pérez, and Sandra Orozco-Aleman. 2023. "Unraveling the Hispanic Health Paradox." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 37 (1): 145-68. DOI: 10.1257/jep.37.1.145
- G51 Household Finance: Household Saving, Borrowing, Debt, and Wealth
- I12 Health Behavior
- I14 Health and Inequality
- J15 Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination