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Mortality inequality in Canada and the U.S.: divergent or convergent trends?


Baker, Michael; Currie, Janet; Schwandt, Hannes (2017). Mortality inequality in Canada and the U.S.: divergent or convergent trends? NBER Working Papers 23514, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Mortality is a crucial dimension of wellbeing and inequality in a population, and mortality trends have been at the core of public debates in many Western countries. In this paper, we provide the first analysis of mortality inequality in Canada and compare its development to trends in the U.S. We find strong reductions in mortality rates across both genders and at all ages, with the exception of middle ages which only experienced moderate improvements. Inequality in mortality, measured across Canadian Census Divisions, decreased for infants and small children, while it increased slightly at higher ages. In comparison to the U.S., mortality levels in Canada improved at a similar rate despite lower initial levels. Inequality at younger ges, however, fell more strongly in the U.S., implying converging mortality gradients between the two countries.

Abstract

Mortality is a crucial dimension of wellbeing and inequality in a population, and mortality trends have been at the core of public debates in many Western countries. In this paper, we provide the first analysis of mortality inequality in Canada and compare its development to trends in the U.S. We find strong reductions in mortality rates across both genders and at all ages, with the exception of middle ages which only experienced moderate improvements. Inequality in mortality, measured across Canadian Census Divisions, decreased for infants and small children, while it increased slightly at higher ages. In comparison to the U.S., mortality levels in Canada improved at a similar rate despite lower initial levels. Inequality at younger ges, however, fell more strongly in the U.S., implying converging mortality gradients between the two countries.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:I14
Language:English
Date:June 2017
Deposited On:18 Aug 2017 11:47
Last Modified:30 Aug 2017 03:00
Series Name:NBER Working Papers
Number of Pages:48
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3386/w23514

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