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Income Inequality and Life Expectancy

There’s an interesting story in The Upshot section of The New York Times today about income inequality and life expectancy. The story highlights a study by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute that looks at the relationship between having higher income inequality in a community and the life expectancy of the people who live there.

The researchers found that those who lived in communities with higher inequality were more likely to die before age 75 than those with lower inequality.

The story discusses theories about why this may be so, and finishes with this thought: “We happen to be in the midst of a big experiment in redistribution of spending on health care, through the Affordable Care Act. The law, particularly in states that have opted to expand Medicaid, is now providing substantial income, in the form of health insurance, to Americans at the lower end of the income spectrum. Whether those new resources will ameliorate some of the effects of inequality will be something the researchers will be tracking in the coming years.”

It’s well worth a read, check it out here.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Katy Delay #

    I find nothing surprising about the results of the University of Wisconsin study. However, the subject of “income inequality” is very controversial. AIER published a study on the subject, by the way. It’s called “On the Gap Between the Rich and the Poor,” EEB Jan. 2004, by Young Back Choi. AIER researchers might do well to study it before commenting further.


    March 30, 2015

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