An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life – The New York Times

April 13, 2017

an hour of running statistically lengthens life expectancy by seven hours, the researchers report.

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Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century | Brookings Institution

March 23, 2017

The combined effect means that mortality rates of whites with no more than a high school degree, which were around 30 percent lower than mortality rates of blacks in 1999, grew to be 30 percent higher than blacks by 2015.

Source: Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century | Brookings Institution


Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well‐Being: Results from Four Data Sets by Terence Chai Cheng, Andrew J. Oswald :: SSRN

February 8, 2017

There is a large amount of cross‐sectional evidence for a midlife low in the life cycle of human happiness and well‐being (a ‘U shape’). Yet no genuinely longitudinal inquiry has uncovered evidence for a U‐shaped pattern. Thus, some researchers believe the U is a statistical artefact. We re‐examine this fundamental cross‐disciplinary question. We suggest a new test. Drawing on four data sets, and only within‐person changes in well‐being, we document powerful support for a U shape in longitudinal data (without the need for formal regression equations). The article’s methodological contribution is to use the first‐derivative properties of a well‐being equation.

Source: Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well‐Being: Results from Four Data Sets by Terence Chai Cheng, Andrew J. Oswald :: SSRN


Noneconomic Damages Due to Physical and Sexual Assault: Estimates from Civil Jury Awards by Ted R. Miller, Mark A. Cohen, Delia V. Hendrie :: SSRN

February 4, 2017

This paper presents a detailed study of jury awards for compensatory damages to victims of crime. Such awards typically result when victims sue third parties who are responsible for some form of negligence such as inadequate security or alcohol over-service. We obtained nationwide data on jury awards to crime victims and examined the relationship between physical losses, medical costs, offender and victim characteristics, and the ultimate compensatory jury award. Despite the large variability in jury awards, we were able to explain 45%-50% of the variation in the natural log of jury awards for physical assault. The awards systematically vary with the severity of physical injuries sustained by the victim. Considerably more variation is found in the case of sexual assault. We use our regressions to construct estimates of noneconomic damages – the pain, suffering and reduced quality of life endured by the average victim of violent crime in the U.S.

Source: Noneconomic Damages Due to Physical and Sexual Assault: Estimates from Civil Jury Awards by Ted R. Miller, Mark A. Cohen, Delia V. Hendrie :: SSRN


Environmental Amenities and Quality of Life Across the United States by Mona Ahmadiani, Susana Ferreira :: SSRN

February 3, 2017

This paper investigates the spatial variation in subjective well-being across the United States (U.S.). We match individual-level survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) that includes a life satisfaction question, to county-level local amenities between 2005 and 2010. We show that subjective well-being varies widely across U.S. counties (even if these are in the same state and after controlling for individual characteristics), which suggests that housing price and wage differentials are not fully compensating for differences across locations. We also show that local amenities including climate, geography, environmental externalities, and other local public goods, explain a sizable fraction of this variation.

Source: Environmental Amenities and Quality of Life Across the United States by Mona Ahmadiani, Susana Ferreira :: SSRN


A Cohort is Not Representative of Humanity: Review of ‘Evidence for a Limit to Human Lifespan’ by Ilya Kashnitsky :: SSRN

November 8, 2016

In the freshly published research letter, Dong, Milholland, and Vijg (DMV) reported that they found strong evidence for a limit to human lifespan. Analyzing data from International Database on Longevity2, they found that the yearly maximum reported age at death (MRAD, i.e. age at death of the world’s oldest person died in a specific year) stopped increasing from the mid-1990-s reaching a plateau at around 115 years. Even though the authors acknowledge that the data on “the supercentenarians are still noisy and made of small samples”, they feel safe to conclude that “the results strongly suggest that the human lifespan has a natural limit”. I argue that the results and conclusions of the study are likely to be caused by just a data artifact, and that they are hardly generalizable for the humanity.

Source: A Cohort is Not Representative of Humanity: Review of ‘Evidence for a Limit to Human Lifespan’ by Ilya Kashnitsky :: SSRN


Death rates for white middle-aged Americans are not increasing.

November 15, 2015

From 1999 to 2013, the death rate for middle-aged white women steadily increased. The death rate for middle-aged white men increased through 2005, then decreased.

Source: Death rates for white middle-aged Americans are not increasing.