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Mark D. Hayward, Director 305 E. 23rd Street, Stop G1800 78712-1699 • 512-471-5514

Joshua Wassink awarded Best Undergraduate Paper at 2012 Southern Demographic Association meeting

Posted: March 27, 2013

REU student Joshua Wassink was awarded Best Undergraduate Paper for his 2012 paper, "Uninsured Migrants: Identifying the health insurance gap between recently returned Mexicans and the rest of the country." Through the REU program under the mentorship of PRC faculty research associates, Nestor Rodriguez and Rebecca Torres, and PRC Graduate Trainee, Connor Sheehan, Joshua worked to develop a research project and to produce a scholarly paper. His participation in the REU program was primarily funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. SMA-1004809).

Joshua's paper explored the following:

While a great deal of research has been devoted to the economic and social implications of Mexican return migration, researchers are only beginning to consider the impact that transnational movements have on Mexican migrants’ ability to reintegrate into public and private health institutions upon return. Using logistic regression to analyze data from the 2010 Mexican Census, this study identifies a robust negative association between return migration and health coverage, indicating a high degree of vulnerability among recent returnees. Multinomial regression indicates that migrants face the most difficulty entering Mexico’s Social Security program upon return. However, they are also covered at a lower percentage than non-migrants by the recently created Seguro Popular (People’s Insurance) program, which is intended “to protect the patrimony of the population who lack social security against expenditure on health.” This study augments existing literature by identifying the impact of Mexican return migration from the U.S. on access to health insurance.

Congratulations to Joshua Wassink!

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