The Economic Geography of Premature Mortality in the United States: Discussion
Shom Mazumder (Government)
- Overarching Question: Geographic variation in mortality? By race and age?
- Striking patterns emerge:
- Middle aged, white women are dying at much higher rates
- Whites in general are stagnating in mortality
- Blacks are doing much better (could probably be emphasized more?)
- Evaluate some initial (economic!) explanations
- Income growth (nada)
- Manufacturing (maybe?)
Why This Paper is a BFD
- Uses population data from CDC to evaluate mortality rates
- Shows strong gender-race-regional differences in mortality rates
- Tons of puzzles come out of this that are (literally) a matter of life and death
My Overarching Questions
- No overarching conceptual framework
- Are there microfoundations that can jointly incorporate age, race, and sex?
- Where's the state? Politics?
- Where's the geography?
- Not sure if you've really set up fair tests of existing explanations
- Cause specific mortality trends?
Suggestions for Theory
- Paper currently reads as overview of existing explanations
- I want to know how you are thinking about this theoretically
- Microfound this with some a lifecycle theory of household bargaining?
- Politics and the state (Bleakly 2007, Velasco 2017)
The Erosion of the Welfare State?