Awards and Juries 2017

The winners of the 2017 Young Author’s Prize are:

For their article:

Selective adult migration and urban-rural mortality differentials in Burkina Faso (Download)

Taking the example of Burkina Faso, where massive rural exodus continues to drive the urbanization process, this study tests the net effects of migration on urban-rural mortality differentials among adults aged 15-74. It is based on information collected at two demographic surveillance sites, one in a rural area (Nouna) and one in the city (Ouagadougou). The longitudinal data cover a recent period (2009-2013) and are analysed using a semi-parametric Cox model. In a rural environment with poor health conditions, it is the healthy individuals who migrate to the city, thereby strengthening the urban health advantage over the short term. While rural-urban migrants are positively selected in terms of health, they tend to lose their advantage over time as they adapt to life in the city. This deterioration after several years of urban residence is probably holding back the mortality transition at national level, given that these migrants were in better health in their environment of origin. For return migrants (rural-urban-rural), the absence of a negative selection effect in Burkina Faso again reflects the complex interplay between migration and health. Beyond compositional and contextual effects, the positive selection of rural-urban migrants is an aggravating factor in the health disadvantage of rural areas.

International jury

President: Jorge Bravo (United Nations, New York, USA)


Pascale Breuil (Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Vieillesse, France)

Patrick Deboosere (Free University of Brussels, Belgium)

Michel Guillot (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Anne Solaz (INED, France, editor-in-chief of Population)

2017 selection process

For this second edition of Population’s Young Author Prize, authors were requested to submit their texts by 30 November 2016. To be eligible, they had to be enrolled in a Master’s or PhD programme or have defended their PhD thesis less than 7 years before. Articles could be written either by the candidate alone or the candidate with other “young” researchers. The jury received 31 submissions.

A first selection, based on the criteria of scientific solidity and editorial strength and relevance, reduced the number of candidate articles to 19, all of which were then evaluated anonymously by one jury member and two experts from outside the jury. When the jury met on 6 and 7 February 2017, each of the 19 texts and evaluations of it were presented by a jury member*. The ensuing jury discussion focused on the articles’ scientific quality and methodological rigor, as well as the originality of the research question and findings. On this basis the jury established a list of 6 finalists, after which they deliberated and held a vote to determine the winning article.

In addition to awarding the Young Author Prize, the jury decided to request the Population editorial board to review the other finalists’ articles for possible publication. The other candidates in the first selection will be sent referee evaluations and juror comments to assist them in future submissions.

* In this stage the jury was assisted by two editors-in-chief, Laurent Toulemon and Olivia Samuel, who did not participate in the vote.


Approximately half of the 31 texts were submitted by PhD students; one by a Master’s student; the other authors have already defended their dissertations and currently hold post-doc or teaching positions. Twenty of the candidates were men, 11 women, but the result was considerably more balanced for the 19 articles that passed the first selection: 10 men and 9 women. Twenty-two submissions were in English, 9 in French; for the 19 articles in the first selection the figures were 12 and 7.

The submissions cover a broad range of subjects and geographical areas. A considerable number of texts pertained to fertility (11) and migrations or immigrant populations (9), two classic demography topics. Other themes represented were mortality, transition to adulthood, and older persons. The texts cover all major regions of the world but European and African countries dominated with respectively 18 and 9 submissions.