Background There are growing attentions paid on rural migrants’ health. Previous studies found that rural migrants are more exposed to disease risks. The present study aims to explore the causal effect of self-employment behavior on the rural migrants’ health status, two issues are addressed to discuss: Does self-employment status affect the health of rural migrants? What is the potential mechanism linking the self-employment behavior and health status?
Methods The dataset from the 2017 National Migrants Population Dynamic Monitoring Survey (NMPDMS-2017) is applied to explore the causal effect; the Logit regression is performed to make baseline estimation, while the IV-LPM estimation is applied to correct the endogeneity of self-employment. Additionally, the Logit regression is conducted to explore the transmission channel.
Results The self-employed are more susceptible to sub-health status (OR= 1.042; 95% CI= 1.001, 1.084) and chronic disease (OR= 1.394; 95% CI= 1.317, 1.476), even when correcting the endogeneity, the causal effect estimation also demonstrates that the self-employed are more vulnerable to suffer sub-health status (Coefficient= 0.067; 95% CI= 0.050, 0.084) and chronic disease (Coefficient= 0.020; 95% CI= 0.008, 0.032). The self-employed are less likely to participate in social health insurance (OR= 0.057; 95% CI= 0.053, 0.061).
Conclusion The self-employed are more likely to suffer sub-health status and chronic disease, the self-employment behavior take harmful effect on the rural migrants’ health. Social health insurance may serve as transmission channel linking self-employment and rural migrants’ health, that is, the self-employed are less prone to participate in the urban health insurance program, which induce to an insufficient health service to maintain health.