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Divided by Degrees: Angus Deaton on how More Americans Without B.A.’s are Dying of Despair

July 30, 2020

Nobel laureate, Angus Deaton says middle-aged Americans without a bachelor's degree face grimmer prospects and are more likely to die of despair. (Dominick Reuter/Reuters/Newscom)

After a century-long decline, mortality rates in the U.S. have flattened- even increased for non-Hispanic whites in middle age. In this podcast, Nobel laureate, Angus Deaton describes how people are dying at an alarming rate from suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases, and how the largest increases in mortality are happening among those without a bachelor's degree. In their latest book titled Deaths of Despair, Deaton and Princeton economist Anne Case look at how approaches to healthcare and inequality relate to the rising mortality rates. Professor Deaton was invited by the Institute for Capacity Development to present their research to IMF economists. He joined me afterward to talk about the B.A./non-B.A. divide in the United States.

Read the REVIEW of Deaths of Despair by Kenneth Rogoff.

Read Peter Walker's profile of Angus Deaton in F&D Magazine

Angus Deaton is Professor Emeritus at Princeton and Presidential Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015 for his work on consumption, poverty, and welfare.