A new paper by Sociology Professor Jennifer Karas Montez published this week in The Milbank Quarterly is garnering significant media attention. The paper, “US State Policies, Politics, and Life Expectancy” shows that changes in US state policies since the 1970s, particularly after 2010, have played an important role in the stagnation and recent decline in US life expectancy. Some US state policies appear to be key levers for improving life expectancy, such as policies on tobacco, labor, immigration, civil rights, and the environment. The authors estimate that U.S. life expectancy is estimated to be 2.8 years longer among women and 2.1 years longer among men if all U.S. states enjoyed the health advantages of states with more liberal policies, which would put U.S. life expectancy on par with other high‐income countries.
This research has been covered by:
- NPR/WAER: SU Maxwell Professor: State Policies Driving Gaps in Life Expectancy
- LA Times: People Live Longer in Blue States than Red
To read Karas Montez’s Lerner Center research brief that summarizes the study’s findings, click here: https://lernercenter.syr.edu/2020/08/04/rb-28/.