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