Past Events

Economists Case & Deaton: Deaths of Despair

September 19, 2017

Increasing Mortality Among White, Middle-Aged, Less-Educated Americans

On September 19, 2017, SCEPA hosted Nobel Laureate Sir Angus Deaton and fellow Princeton Economist Anne Case for the annual Heilbroner Memorial Lecture.

Case and Deaton’s work, Mortality and Morbidity in the 21st Century, identified a shocking trend known as “deaths of despair.” While racial minorities in the U.S. have seen improvements in lifespan over the last two decades, more white middle-aged Americans have been dying younger, especially those with a high school education or less. Widespread addiction, suicide, alcoholic liver disease and heart disease, coupled with long-term stagnant economic opportunities, have shaped shorter lives characterized by more pain and anguish.

This year’s speakers continued SCEPA’s legacy of hosting groundbreaking economists working to bring reality into conventional economics, such as previous headline-garnering speakers Thomas Piketty and Yanis Varoufakis. Case and Deaton’s work was showcased as a highly publicized Brookings report and cited by the New York Times, Financial Times, Vice, Washington Post, NPR, The Atlantic, and more.

Dr. Anne Case is the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Emeritus, at Princeton University, and director of the Research Program in Development Studies. Case has written extensively about health over the life course, for which she has been awarded the Kenneth J. Arrow Prize in Health Economics from the International Health Economics Association.

Sir Angus Deaton is professor emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work documenting the interplay between income and consumption and identifying trends important to understanding inequality.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Theresa Lang Community Center, Arnhold Hall
55 West 13th Street, Room I-202
New York, NY 10011

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion featuring New School economics students Kyle Moore and Andrew Minster.