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Black-white disparities during an epidemic: Life expectancy and lifespan disparity in the US, 1980–2000

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  • Aburto, José Manuel
  • Kristensen, Frederikke Frehr
  • Sharp, Paul

Abstract

Covid-19 has demonstrated again that epidemics can affect minorities more than the population in general. We consider one of the last major epidemics in the United States: HIV/AIDS from ca. 1980–2000. We calculate life expectancy and lifespan disparity (a measure of variance in age at death) for thirty US states, finding noticeable differences both between states and between the black and white communities. Lifespan disparity allows us to examine distributional effects, and, using decomposition methods, we find that for six states lifespan disparity for blacks increased between 1980 and 1990, while life expectancy increased less than for whites. We find that we can attribute most of this to the impact of HIV/AIDS.

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  • Aburto, José Manuel & Kristensen, Frederikke Frehr & Sharp, Paul, 2021. "Black-white disparities during an epidemic: Life expectancy and lifespan disparity in the US, 1980–2000," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:40:y:2021:i:c:s1570677x20302070
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100937
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    Cited by:

    1. Brzezinski, Michal, 2021. "The impact of past pandemics on economic and gender inequalities," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    2. Colvin, Christopher L. & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2021. "Death, demography and the denominator: Age-adjusted Influenza-18 mortality in Ireland," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
    3. Kristensen, Frederikke Frehr & Sharp, Paul, 2021. "Disease Surveillance, Mortality and Race: The Case of HIV/AIDS in the United States," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 553, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    AIDS; HIV; Life expectancy; Lifespan disparity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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