Partner Choice and Mortality in Sweden

Ognjen Obucina , Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Sven Drefahl, Stockholm University
Siddartha Aradhya, Stockholm University Demography Unit

Our aim is to contribute to this emerging research area by exploring the link between intermarriage and mortality among natives and immigrants in Sweden. The contribution to the literature is also reflected in the fact that this is the first study in this field based on total population data. Another important novelty is that we do not only include individuals who currently live in a union, but also those who have experienced a separation or divorce. Three main mechanisms are believed to shape the results of our study: 1) health behaviour exchange among spouses, 2) marital distress, and 3) selection into intermarriage. The analysis is based on Swedish population registers and hazard regression/event-history techniques. The base population of our study consists of all people aged 18 and older who were ever married and living in Sweden between 1990 and 2016. The main variable of interest is a categorical variable that combines the origin of the index person (ego) and his or her partner. Our preliminary results show that native men with an experience of intermarriage have a higher mortality risk, as compared to men with no such experience. Among immigrant men, the risk of mortality is highest among those married to non-co-ethnic immigrant women. In contrast, after controlling for other observables, we find very little evidence that the partner choice affects mortality risk among women.

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 Presented in Session 73. Immigrant Health and Mortality