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Family Reunification and Health: A Gendered Experience

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In this paper, we assess the impact of family reunification on mental health of the partner already present in the immigration country. We use Danish register data on diagnosis and rely on the event study approach suggested by Kleven et al. (2019) because it allows to non-parametrically control for life-cycle and business-cycle effects. We find that for male immigrants from non-Western countries, the propensity to be diagnosed with a disease falls after family reunification, whereas health outcomes of female first movers remain unaffected irrespective of their country of origin. Our results show that the finding holds for mental diagnoses and is not driven by other factors. These results suggest that family reunification may be a resilience factor for male refugees to Denmark.

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