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The late emergence of socioeconomic mortality differentials: A micro-level study of adult mortality in southern Sweden 1815-1968

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  • Bengtsson, Tommy
  • Dribe, Martin

Abstract

This paper deals with socioeconomic differences in adult mortality in southern Sweden 1815-1968, a period of transformation from an agricultural to a modern industrial society and increasing life expectancy. We use longitudinal micro-level data with information on demographic events, household structure and socioeconomic status. The main finding is that the socioeconomic gradient is a very recent phenomenon. While mortality fell in all socioeconomic groups it was not until the 1950s that a socioeconomic gradient appeared, and then only among adults in working ages. For the elderly, we find no significant mortality differentials between various social groups at any time. These results are consistent with the divergence hypothesis, although this process started much later than previously thought, and was not an immediate consequence of industrialization.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 48 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 389-400

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:48:y:2011:i:3:p:389-400

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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Keywords: Socioeconomic differences Inequality Adult mortality Sweden;

References

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  1. Jeffrey G. Williamson & Branko Milanovic & Peter H. Lindert, 2008. "Measuring Ancient Inequality," Working Papers 08-06, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
  2. Fogel,Robert William, 2004. "The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521004886.
  3. Steven Ruggles, 2009. "Reconsidering the Northwest European Family System: Living Arrangements of the Aged in Comparative Historical Perspective," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 249-273.
  4. Hoffman, Philip T. & Jacks, David S. & Levin, Patricia A. & Lindert, Peter H., 2002. "Real Inequality In Europe Since 1500," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 322-355, June.
  5. J. L. Van Zanden, 1995. "Tracing the beginning of the Kuznets curve: western Europe during the early modern period," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(4), pages 643-664, November.
  6. Bengtsson, Tommy & van Poppel, Frans, 2011. "Socioeconomic inequalities in death from past to present: An introduction," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 343-356, July.
  7. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Tommy Bengtsson & Martin Dribe, 2014. "The historical fertility transition at the micro level," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(17), pages 493-534, February.
  2. Sören Edvinsson & Göran Broström, 2012. "Old age, health and social inequality," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(23), pages 633-660, June.

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