the US epidemic of “deaths of despair”

The 23 March 2017 Brookings paper, “Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century”, authored by Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton, has attracted considerable attention from bloggers. Much of the reaction has been negative, very critical of the study.

Case and Deaton found that the US is experiencing an epidemic of  “deaths of despair”, concentrated in middle-aged White, non-Hispanic persons with high school education or less.

Noah Smith, a PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of Michigan (and journalist at Boomberg News), writes that the Case-Deaton finding holds up well against their critics. I agree.

[I]t’s rapidly becoming conventional-wisdom in some circles that the Case-Deaton result is bunk – one person even called the paper a “bogus report” and criticized me for “falling for” it.

But most of the critics have overstated their case pretty severely here. The Case-Deaton result is not bunk – it’s a real and striking finding.

Noah Smith, “The blogs vs. Case-Deaton“, Noahpinion, 29 March 2017.

Click on the ungated link above for details.

Comments are closed.