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A survey from Max Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging and Institute of Public Health –Department ofEpidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Compositional changes due to internal migration can modify the distribution of health outcomes, death rates, and socio-economic characteristics of a specific geographical area. Migration flows may affect patterns of socio-economic inequalities in mortality as well. However, despite these inequalities being an important social and geopolitical feature of an area, there is still little empirical evidence on this effect. This paper contributes to deepening the knowledge about this phenomenon by investigating whether post-war internal migration in Italy affected the pattern of mortality inequality by socio-economic status, from age 50 years onwards, in Turin, one of the main industrial areas of the country, to which many low-educated individuals from the southern regions migrated, seeking jobs in the car factories. Migrants might be selected in terms of robustness because of the healthy migrant effect. However, low-educated individuals are employed in heavier and riskier jobs. They thus undergo a faster health selection due to exposure to a higher mortality risk that selects the most robust individuals. This paper hypothesised that the interplay of these mechanisms might have produced a homogenisation process towards robustness of the population by reducing the unobserved heterogeneity in survival chances and that these processes affected men more than women, because women were likely to be more passive actors in the migratory decisions and less heavily involved in the industrialisation process. The results show that women have higher levels of heterogeneity in susceptibility to death and wider differentials mortality by education level than men, which both support the hypotheses. © 2014 The Authors. Population, Space and Place. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.