Black-White disparities during an epidemic: life expectancy and lifespan disparity in the US, 1980-2000
512/2020 José Manuel Aburto, Frederikke Frehr Kristensen and Paul Sharp
Covid-19 has demonstrated again that epidemics can affect minorities more than the population in general. We consider one of the last major epidemics in the United States: HIV/AIDS from ca. 1980-2000. We calculate life expectancy and lifespan disparity (a measure of variance in age at death) for thirty US states, finding noticeable differences both between states and between the black and white communities. Lifespan disparity allows us to examine distributional effects, and, using decomposition methods, we find that for six states lifespan disparity for blacks increased between 1980 and 1990, while life expectancy increased less than for whites. We find that we can attribute most of this to the impact of HIV/AIDS.
Economics and Human Biology