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Gabriel Brea-Martinez . Foto

Gabriel Brea-Martinez


Gabriel Brea-Martinez . Foto

Exposure to Neighborhood Income Inequality in Childhood and Later-Life Mortality, Sweden 1939-2015


  • Finn Hedefalk
  • Gabriel Brea-Martinez
  • Therese Nilsson

Summary, in English

The degree of inequality in a society may be harmful to individual health, regardless of where
someone is located in the income ladder. An underlying assumption in the literature is that
there is an instant link between income inequality and individual health and most studies
consider a contemporary correlation, assessing inequality and health just about the same point
in time. Moreover, research is limited regarding the long-term consequences of exposure to
income inequality and inequality is often measured at coarse geographical levels, although
potential mechanisms mediate a relationship may be very local. We use geocoded longitudinal
microdata for the city of Landskrona, 1947-1967, linked to Swedish national registers, 1968-
2015, to analyze how exposure to economic inequality in childhood neighborhoods influence
mortality in adulthood. For the period 1947-1967, the whole population of Landskrona is
geocoded at the address-level, and we observe their full residential histories within the city.
Here, we measure continuous individual neighborhood conditions, using on the k-nearest
neighbors approach, for the children (ages 1-17) in the town. We focus on the Gini-index, and
average income in the childhood neighborhood. We follow up exposed children nationwide at
age 40 (1968-2015) and use Cox proportional hazards models to analyze the effect of
neighborhood income and Gini-index on adult mortality from age 40 to 69. We control for
childhood family income, socio-spatial neighborhood characteristics, and social class in

The preliminary results indicate that economic inequalities within the childhood
neighborhoods were important for adult mortality of men, but not for women. Men who grew
up in neighborhoods with low inequality experienced a relatively lower mortality risk in
adulthood compared to men growing up in high inequality neighborhoods, even when
adjusting for both childhood family income, neighborhood income, and adult class. The main
contribution of this study is the analysis of exposure to neighborhood inequality in childhood,
at the micro-level, and the implications over the life-course.


  • Centrum för ekonomisk demografi
  • Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen
  • Nationalekonomiska institutionen










  • Economic History

Conference name

Social Science History Association 2022 Annual Meeting

Conference date

2022-11-17 - 2022-11-20

Conference place

Chicago, United States




  • The long reach of the neighborhood: Health, education and earnings in Landskrona, Sweden, 1904-2015