Post-war migration flows and disparities in mortality from age 50 on: the case of Turin in Italy

Virginia Zarulli, Max Planck Odense Center

Compositional changes due to internal migration can modify the distribution of health outcomes, death rates and socioeconomic characteristics of a specific geographical area. Migration flows may affect patterns of socioeconomic inequalities in mortality as well. However, despite these inequalities are an important social and geopolitical feature of an area, there is still little empirical evidence on this effect. This paper contributes to deepen the knowledge about this phenomenon by investigating whether post-war internal migration in Italy affected the pattern of mortality inequality by socioeconomic status, from age 50 onwards, in Turin, one of the main industrial areas of the country, where many low educated individuals from the southern regions migrated to Turin with seeking jobs in the car factories. Migrants might be selected in terms of robustness because of the healthy migrant effect. However, lowly educated individuals are employed in heavier and riskier jobs. They thus undergo a faster health selection due to exposure to higher mortality risk that selects the most robust individuals. This paper hypothesized that the interplay of these mechanisms might have produced a homogenization process towards robustness of the population, by reducing the unobserved heterogeneity in survival chances, and that these processes affected men more than women, because women were likely to be more passive actors in the migratory decisions and less heavily involved in the industrialization process. The results show that women have higher level of heterogeneity in susceptibility to death and wider differentials mortality by education level than men, which both support the hypotheses.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 1