The causal influence of social capital on immigrant health conditions in Canada
Authors: Caroline Berchet and Audrey Laporte
Using a representative longitudinal survey of the immigrant population in Canada (the “Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada”), this article assesses the causal ináuence of social capital (as measured by social participation) on immigrant health status and health care use. Furthermore, it sheds light on the relationship existing between social capital, human capital and immigrant health conditions. We begin with Probit models but then address the identifcation issue of social capital using several bivariate dynamic Probit models. Estimation results are consistent with exiting literature since we find a positive ináuence of social participation on immigrant health status and health care use. Moreover, our analyses reveal that some social activities are more protective than others such as participation to sporting groups, church groups, cultural clubs or political associations. More importantly, the effect of social capital on immigrant health conditions seems to differ according to their human capital level, measured through educational attainment. In this respect, social capital appears to act as a substitute for human capital to enhance immigrant health status while we found a complementary effect between social and human capital to increase immigrant health care utilisation.
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