Professor Who Worked On Study Of White People Dying Sooner Was Told ‘How Dare You Work On Whites’


Justin Caruso Contributor
Font Size:

A Princeton professor who worked on a now well-known study that tracked rising mortality rates among middle-aged white Americans was actually told “how dare you work on whites” by another faculty member when she presented it, a new interview reveals.

Anne Case and Angus Deaton revealed the incident in an interview with The Washington Post published Thursday:

“White Americans had just flatlined where the European countries continued to make progress, and where other groups in this country — African Americans and Hispanics — continued to make progress. So what the heck is going on here? We weren’t making progress anymore. That, to us seemed like the bigger story.

Deaton: Anne presented the first paper once and was told, in no uncertain terms: How dare you work on whites.

Case: I was really beaten up.

Deaton: And these were really senior people.

Case: Very senior people.”

The study, called “Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century,” tracked the rising death rates of white Americans and linked that rise to opiod use, alcoholism and despair.

The study’s webpage reads, in part, “If the white mortality rate for ages 45−54 had held at their 1998 value, 96,000 deaths would have been avoided from 1999–2013, 7,000 in 2013 alone.”

“If it had continued to decline at its previous (1979‒1998) rate, half a million deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999‒2013, comparable to lives lost in the US AIDS epidemic through mid-2015,” it also states.

Case and Deaton recently published a follow up study titled, “Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century,” which draws links between the decline in blue collar labor among working class whites and “deaths of despair” from drugs, alcohol, and suicide.

Follow Justin on Twitter

Tags : princeton
Justin Caruso