We investigate the impact of a large economic shock on mortality. We find that counties more exposed to a plausibly exogenous trade liberalization exhibit higher rates of suicide and related causes of death, concentrated among whites, especially white males. These trends are consistent with our finding that more-exposed counties experience relative declines in manufacturing employment, a sector in which whites and males are disproportionately employed. We also examine other causes of death that might be related to labor market disruption and find both positive and negative relationships. More-exposed counties, for example, exhibit lower rates of fatal heart attacks.
Peter K. Schott is Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Special-Sworn-Status researcher that the U.S. Census Bureau. His research focuses on how countries, firms, and workers react to globalization. Recent papers examine the decline of U.S. manufacturing employment after China joined the WTO, the misallocation of quota licenses by the Chinese government under the global Multi-Fiber Arrangement, and how to measure changes in countries’ export quality over time. His research has appeared in various academic and other outlets, including The New Yorker, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Business Review. Before joining Yale’s faculty, he worked as a commercial banker for Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Ltd. in New York and Los Angeles and received a Master’s Degree in political science and a Ph.D. in management from UCLA.