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Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Deaths: Seeking Economic Roots with Census data

John McLaren

No 27407, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This note seeks the socioeconomic roots of racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality, using county-level mortality, economic, and demographic data from 3,140 counties. For all minorities, the minority's population share is strongly correlated with total COVID-19 deaths. For Hispanic/Latino and Asian minorities those correlations are fragile, and largely disappear when we control for education, occupation, and commuting patterns. For African Americans and First Nations populations, the correlations are very robust. Surprisingly, for these two groups the racial disparity does not seem to be due to differences in income, poverty rates, education, occupational mix, or even access to healthcare insurance. A significant portion of the disparity can, however, be sourced to the use of public transit.

JEL-codes: I14 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-lab and nep-ure
Note: HE
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Published as McLaren John, 2021. "Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Deaths: Seeking Economic Roots with Census Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(3), pages 897-919, July.

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