CPRC Seminar: Physician Bias and Racial Disparities in Health—Evidence from Veterans’ Pensions
OPEN TO THE COLUMBIA COMMUNITY | ONLINE (VIA ZOOM) | REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Hazel C. Youngberg Distinguished Professor of Economics
The Ohio State University
National Bureau of Economic Research
COLUMBIA POPULATION RESEARCH CENTER (CPRC)
ABOUT THE EVENT
This seminar hosted by the Columbia Population Research Center will discuss new research indicating that health disparities based on race date back at least as far as the American Civil War.
Presenter Trevon Logan (bio) and co-authors Shari Eli and Boriana Miloucheva of the University of Toronto investigated the contribution of increases in individual income to the decrease in adult morbidity and mortality by examining the cohort of Union Army soldiers who enlisted in the Civil War. Since veterans received pensions based on proof of disability at medical exams, estimates of the causal effect of income on mortality may be biased, as sicker veterans received larger pensions. Looking at the judgment of the doctors who certified disability, they found that doctors appeared to discriminate against black veterans. Their work emphasizes that the large effects of physicians’ attitudes on racial differentials in health, which persist today amongst both veterans and the civilian population, were equally prominent in the past.