Health and Wealth Disparities in the United States

  • Title:

    Health and Wealth Disparities in the United States
  • Format:

    Paperback
  • Paperback Price:

    27.95
  • Paperback ISBN:

    978-0-8447-4389-9
  • Paperback Dimensions:

    6" x 9"
  • 76 Paperback pages
  • Buy the Book

Click here to purchase this book on Amazon

Traditional measures of economic disparities among Americans of different race, gender, geographic location, and education level consider only material well-being, so that making two groups economically "equal" is as simple as matching their monetary incomes. This narrow focus on income may not, however, lead to a complete understanding of economic prosperity in the United States. Differences in health and longevity are also important dimensions of a population’s overall well-being.

In this volume, Anupam B. Jena, Tomas J. Philipson, and Eric C. Sun formally incorporate the effects of health into an analysis of economic disparities in America from 1940 to 2000. They find that accounting for the value of health dramatically affects our understanding of wealth levels across groups--particularly across races. The income levels of blacks and whites followed a convergent trend until the 1970s, after which the rate of convergence slowed and even reversed slightly, suggesting that blacks’ rate of economic progress has dwindled. However, when health gains are incorporated, the picture changes significantly. Black men and women made much faster improvements in health than white men and women over this sixty-year period. Therefore, although black and white incomes have not converged fully, the overall disparity decreases when health is incorporated into the analysis.

Jena, Philipson, and Sun conclude that even if income disparities remain vast across groups, disparities in general welfare may be shrinking as minorities and poorer populations see significant improvements in health--a finding that has important policy implications for the design of programs aimed at equalizing income across the U.S. population.

Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, is a medical resident in the Department of Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and a visiting fellow at the Bing Center for Health Economics at the RAND Corporation.

Tomas J. Philipson, PhD, is the Daniel Levin Professor of Public Policy Studies at the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies and previously served as senior economic advisor to the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2004–05) and to the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2003–04).

Eric C. Sun, MD, PhD, is a resident in the Department of Anesthesiology at Stanford University and a visiting fellow at the Bing Center for Health Economics at the RAND Corporation.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Tomas J.
Philipson

 

Anupam B.
Jena

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
    MON
  • 28
    TUE
  • 29
    WED
  • 30
    THU
  • 31
    FRI
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.