Age Variations and Over-Coverage:Is the Migrant Mortality Advantage Merely a Data Artefact?

2020-01-07T09:14:31Z (GMT) by Matthew Wallace Ben Wilson
The migrant mortality advantage has been extensively observed in the literature, but its veracity continues to be debated. In particular, concerns persist that the advantage is merely an artefact, generated by issues identifying, and capturing the mobility of, foreign-born populations. Here, we study this by working at the intersection of two recent developments; one uncovering age variation in the advantage (specifically a deep U-shape of advantage at peak migration ages) and another uncovering high levels of over-coverage – the main source of data artefact – at the same ages. Using survival analysis on Swedish population registers from 2010 to 12, we aim to determine whether age variation in the advantage persists after correcting over-coverage and, ultimately, whether the advantage is an artefact. We find the U-shaped age profile of advantage in Sweden and, crucially, discover that peak migration age differentials are not caused by over-coverage. We demonstrate the advantage to be real and, in all likelihood, generated by selection effects.