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Type Journal Article - The Journal of Development Studies
Title Mental and Physical Health Effect of Rural-Urban Migration in South Africa: A Quasi-Experimental Impact Evaluation Study
Volume 0
Issue 0
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2022
Page numbers 1-18
AbstractUsing the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) longitudinal dataset, this study undertakes a difference-in-differences (DiD) evaluation of the impact of rural-urban migration on mental and physical health in South Africa. The contribution of the study is in considering sample selection bias as well as the causal direction of the relationship through the use of propensity score matching techniques and restricted sample DiD estimation. This study finds that the rural-urban migrants, within the South African NIDS sample, experience a decline in reported physical and mental health outcomes. The study identifies social isolation and difficult living conditions as some of the factors behind the adverse health outcomes. The findings underscore the fact that while favourable economic outcomes will likely occur as a result of migration efforts (such as employment opportunities and increased income), it comes at a cost of both physical and mental health.

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