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Intragenerational mobility and mortality in Russia: short and longer-term effects


Billingsley, Sunnee (2012). Intragenerational mobility and mortality in Russia: short and longer-term effects. Social Science & Medicine, 75(12), 2326-2336.


This study uses the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey to explore the relationship between mortality of men age 65 or younger and intragenerational mobility, measured objectively through household income and subjectively through social ranking. This relationship is considered in light of the social selection and social causation mechanisms developed in the literature as well as a proposed mechanism in which mobility itself is a consequential life event. The analysis spans the years 1994-2010, which covers the transitional period in Russia characterized by labor market restructuring and economic crisis as well as a later period of economic growth and recovery. Using Cox proportional hazard models, immediate and longer-term associations between mobility and mortality are estimated. Both subjective and objective downward mobility had an immediate positive association with mortality risk (increased by 44% and 24%, respectively). In contrast, upward mobility had a more pronounced effect over a longer-term horizon and lowered mortality risk by 17%. Controlling for destination status attenuated some associations, but findings were robust to the adjustment of selection-related factors such as alcohol consumption and health status in the year preceding mobility. Findings suggest that the negative relationship between upward mobility and mortality may be driven by social causation, whereas downward mobility may have an independent effect beyond selection or causation.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Science & Medicine


Billingsley, Sunnee