Mortality selection in the first three months of life and survival in the following thirty-three months in rural Veneto (North-East Italy) from 1816 to 1835

New academic article In Demographic Research:

Mortality selection in the first three months of life and survival in the following thirty-three months in rural Veneto (North-East Italy) from 1816 to 1835

Leonardo Piccione, Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, Alessandra Minello


Background: A number of studies have examined the influence of life conditions in infancy (and pregnancy) on mortality risks in adulthood or old age. For those individuals who survived difficult life conditions, some scholars have found a prevalence of positive selection (relatively low mortality within the population), while others have observed the prevalence of a so-called scar-effect (relatively high mortality within the population).

Objective: Using micro-data characterized by broad internal mortality differences before the demographic transition (seven parishes within the region of Veneto, North-East Italy, 1816-35), we aim to understand whether children who survived high mortality risks during the first three months of life (early infant mortality) had a higher or a lower probability of surviving during the following 33 months (late infant mortality).

Methods: Using a Cox regression, we model the risk of dying during the period of 3-35 months of age, considering mortality level survived at age 0-2 months of age as the main explanatory variable.

Results: We show that positive selection prevailed. For cohorts who survived very severe early mortality selection (q0–2>400‰, , where the subscripts are months of age), mortality hazard of death during the following 33 months was 20%-30% lower compared to the cohorts where early mortality selection was relatively small (q0-2<200‰).

Conclusions: This result points to a homeostatic mechanism: mortality variability among the cohorts is, for q0–35, half that of the mortality variability for both q0–2 and q3–35.

Comments: old title: Neonatal selection and mortality in the following months of life


The educational expectations of Italian children: the role of social interactions with the children of immigrants

by Alessandra Minello

in International Studies in Sociology of Education,Volume 24, Issue 2, 2014

This paper aims to investigate to what extent the growing presence of children with immigrant  background in the Italian school system has an impact on the educational expectations of Italian students in eighth grade. Educational expectations are individuals’ plans for their future educational career, adjusted to the subjectively estimated probabilities of achieving a given outcome. Multilevel analyses are performed using data from ITAGEN2 (Italian Second Generation) survey, the first nationwide survey on natives, first- and second-generation immigrants. Results demonstrate that attending a school with a high proportion of children of immigrants has no impact on realistic expectations about secondary education. In addition, students attending schools with high level of interethnic integration are more prone to having high educational expectations.




Children of immigrants in the Italian school system: what kind of assimilation?

by Alessandra Minello & Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna

in Statistica Applicata -Italian Journal of Applied Statistics, Vol. 23, n. 2

Our paper aims at identifying the kind of assimilation experienced by children of immigrants who arrived in Italy during the first decade of the 21st century, a time of great immigrant expansion. We aim at discerning to what extent children of immigrants within the Italian education system identify with or distance themselves from natives depending on the length of their stay in their new country. We use ITAGEN2 data, the first national survey on first and second generation immigrants, focusing on children attending their third year of middle school. Our results demonstrate evident signs of downward assimilation, especially for newcomers. Moreover, first generation immigrants, more so than second generations, tend to be similar to children of the Italian working class in terms of educational expectations, individual economic resources, and social relations.

From mother to daughter: changes in intergenerational educational and occupational mobility in Germany

by Alessandra Minello & Hans-Peter Blossfeld

in International Studies in Sociology of Education, Volume 24, Issue 1 (2014)
Special Issue: Gender Analysis of Education in 21st century capitalist societies

Recent decades have seen a dramatic expansion in the educational attainment and occupational opportunities of German women. Both the educational and occupational positions of the mothers and those of their daughters are continuously changing across cohorts. Our study aims to detect the probability of daughters to experience maternal-line intergenerational educational and occupational mobility. Using new data from the National Educational Panel Study of adult cohorts, we analyse successive cohorts of German women born between 1944 and 1984. We demonstrate that the relation between mothers’ and daughters’ educational and occupational career has changed over time. Maternal-line female mobility has decreased over cohorts. Our results also reveal that the relationship between educational careers and female job mobility has changed. The tertiary level of education has become more relevant across cohorts in preventing downward intergenerational mobility and it has become a prerequisite for taking part in the completion for upward intergenerational mobility.

The Educational Expectations of Children of Immigrants in Italy

by Alessandra Minello & Nicola Barban

In ANNALS, AAPSS, 643, September 2012

In this article, the authors investigate the short-run edu- cational expectations and long-term educational aspira- tions of the children of immigrants living in Italy and attending eighth grade. The authors look at educational ambition, both as a predictor of educational choice and as a measure of social integration. They consider both secondary-school track and university goals. Data come from the ITAGEN2 survey (2005–2006). First, the authors analyze the relationship of short-run expecta- tions and long-term aspirations to structural (e.g., migration status and country of origin) and social (e.g., family socioeconomic status and friendship ties) condi- tions. The latter seem to be determinants of both expec- tations and aspirations, but long-term educational aspirations are not associated with migration status. Second, the authors investigate the relevance of context in delineating educational attitudes. The authors per- formed a multilevel analysis including both individual- and school-level variables. Their results show that attending a school where most of the Italian pupils have high educational expectations may lead children of immigrants to enhance their own aspirations.