Zheng, H. & Yu, W.-H. (2022) Do immigrants’ health advantages remain after unemployment? Variations by race-ethnicity and gender. Journal of Social Issues, 78, 691– 716.

Immigrants tend to display more favorable health outcomes than native-born co-ethnics. At the same time, they face considerable employment instability. It is unclear whether immigrants’ job conditions may compromise their health advantage. Using U.S. National Health Interview Survey data, this study shows that the experience of unemployment reduces immigrants’ health advantage, but unemployed foreign-born Blacks, White women, and Asian women still have lower mortality rates than their native-born employed counterparts. Overall, unemployment is less detrimental to immigrants than to natives, and immigrants’ “survival advantage after unemployment” persists as their duration of residence extends. We further find substantial heterogeneity in the unemployment effect within immigrants. Asian immigrants display a much sharper gender difference in the mortality consequence of unemployment than other immigrants. Asian men’s worse general health and substantially higher smoking rate, especially among the unemployed, lead them to fare much worse than Asian women following unemployment.