SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION AMONG LARGE U.S. EMPLOYERS

Link: https://eml.berkeley.edu//~crwalters/papers/randres.pdf

Graphic:

Abstract:

We study the results of a massive nationwide correspondence experiment sending more than
83,000 fictitious applications with randomized characteristics to geographically dispersed jobs
posted by 108 of the largest U.S. employers. Distinctively Black names reduce the probability of
employer contact by 2.1 percentage points relative to distinctively white names. The magnitude
of this racial gap in contact rates differs substantially across firms, exhibiting a between-company
standard deviation of 1.9 percentage points. Despite an insignificant average gap in contact rates
between male and female applicants, we find a between-company standard deviation in gender
contact gaps of 2.7 percentage points, revealing that some firms favor male applicants while
others favor women. Company-specific racial contact gaps are temporally and spatially persistent,
and negatively correlated with firm profitability, federal contractor status, and a measure of
recruiting centralization. Discrimination exhibits little geographical dispersion, but two digit
industry explains roughly half of the cross-firm variation in both racial and gender contact gaps.
Contact gaps are highly concentrated in particular companies, with firms in the top quintile of
racial discrimination responsible for nearly half of lost contacts to Black applicants in the
experiment. Controlling false discovery rates to the 5% level, 23 individual companies are found
to discriminate against Black applicants. Our findings establish that systemic illegal
discrimination is concentrated among a select set of large employers, many of which can be
identified with high confidence using large scale inference methods.

Author(s): Patrick M. Kline, Evan K. Rose, and Christopher R. Walters

Publication Date: July 2021, Revised August 2021

Publication Site: NBER Working Papers, also Christopher R. Walters’s own webpages

Restrict Insurers’ Use Of External Consumer Data, Colorado Senate Bill 21-169

Link: https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/2021a_169_signed.pdf

Link: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb21-169

Excerpt:

The general assembly therefore declares that in order to ensure
that all Colorado residents have fair and equitable access to insurance
products, it is necessary to:
(a) Prohibit:
(I) Unfair discrimination based on race, color, national or ethnic
origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, or gender
expression in any insurance practice; and
(II) The use of external consumer data and information sources, as
well as algorithms and predictive models using external consumer data and
information sources, which use has the result of unfairly discriminating
based on race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual
orientation, disability, gender identity, or gender expression; and
(b) After notice and rule-making by the commissioner of insurance,
require insurers that use external consumer data and information sources,
algorithms, and predictive models to control for, or otherwise demonstrate
that such use does not result in, unfair discrimination.

Publication Date: 6 July 2021

Publication Site: Colorado Legislature

Asian Americans Are Most Vaccinated Group in Majority of States: Covid-19 Tracker

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/us-vaccine-demographics.html

Graphic:

Excerpt:

At least 65% of Asian people have been vaccinated, on average, in states that Bloomberg is tracking. That compares with 45% of White people with at least one dose, 40% of Hispanics and 34% of Black people. In New Mexico, New York and Washington, more than three-quarters of the Asian population has been covered.

Even as rates slowed, Asians remained the most likely to get newly vaccinated, with an average of more than 5% getting their first dose over the past month compared to 3.5% or less for the other groups.

Author(s): Rachael Dottle, Andre Tartar

Publication Date: 14 July 2021 (last updated)

Publication Site: Bloomberg

Mortgage Rates Are Low: Why Aren’t Minority Homeowners Refinancing?

Excerpt:

The reasons behind the racial disparity in refinancing align with documented evidence about other inequities in housing, Keys said during an interview with Wharton Business Daily on SiriusXM. (Listen to the podcast above.) Structural racism built into both public policy and the private sector has led to longstanding asymmetry in income, credit scores, loan-to-value ratios and other risk factors that inhibit refinancing for minorities.

The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the problem, Keys said, because Black and Hispanic households are more likely to experience job loss than white households. The U.S. unemployment rate in May dropped to 5.8%, yet it was 7.3% for Hispanics and 9.1% for Blacks.

“Some of this may be a function of just measuring incomes and employment disruptions, but I think there is another factor, which is related to just how tight mortgage credit is right now,” Keys added. “Mortgage credit is perceived as being very tight. It can be a hard time to get a loan, and there are a lot of hoops to jump through when you’re refinancing.”

Author(s): Benjamin Keys interviewed on Wharton Business Daily

Publication Date: 6 July 2021

Publication Site: Knowledge @ Wharton

Without Enough Boots on the Ground, California’s Vaccination Efforts Falter

Excerpt:

Lackluster vaccination uptake drove the Newsom administration to pursue the more personal approach that public health experts favor, but the still-nascent campaign leaves out large swaths of the state. The administration launched its “Get Out the Vax” campaign in April, enlisting 70 community-based organizations and 2,000 community canvassers, now focused on Los Angeles and Central Valley neighborhoods where vaccinations have plateaued or declined.

But county public health officials say the campaign isn’t big enough to combat the vaccine misinformation that has infiltrated regions such as California’s rural north.

Author(s): Angela Hart

Publication Date: 29 June 2021

Publication Site: Kaiser Health News

Life expectancy in U.S. dropped by almost two years between 2018 and 2020

Link: https://www.benefitspro.com/2021/06/28/life-expectancy-in-u-s-dropped-by-almost-two-years-between-2018-and-2020/

Excerpt:

Life expectancy in the United States between 2018 and 2020 decreased by 1.87 years (to 76.87 years), which is 8.5 times the average decrease in other high-income nations. What’s more, decreases in life expectancy among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black people were about two to three times greater than in the non-Hispanic White population, reversing years of progress in reducing racial and ethnic disparities. The life expectancy of Black men (67.73 years) is the lowest since 1998.

Those are key findings of a study conducted by researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, the University of Colorado Population Center and the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., and published in The BMJ — a peer-reviewed medical trade journal of the British Medical Association.

Author(s): Michael Popke

Publication Date: 28 June 2021

Publication Site: Benefits Pro

Effect of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 on life expectancy across populations in the USA and other high income countries: simulations of provisional mortality data

Link: https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n1343

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Results Between 2010 and 2018, the gap in life expectancy between the US and the peer country average increased from 1.88 years (78.66 v 80.54 years, respectively) to 3.05 years (78.74 v 81.78 years). Between 2018 and 2020, life expectancy in the US decreased by 1.87 years (to 76.87 years), 8.5 times the average decrease in peer countries (0.22 years), widening the gap to 4.69 years. Life expectancy in the US decreased disproportionately among racial and ethnic minority groups between 2018 and 2020, declining by 3.88, 3.25, and 1.36 years in Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White populations, respectively. In Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations, reductions in life expectancy were 18 and 15 times the average in peer countries, respectively. Progress since 2010 in reducing the gap in life expectancy in the US between Black and White people was erased in 2018-20; life expectancy in Black men reached its lowest level since 1998 (67.73 years), and the longstanding Hispanic life expectancy advantage almost disappeared.

Conclusions The US had a much larger decrease in life expectancy between 2018 and 2020 than other high income nations, with pronounced losses among the Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations. A longstanding and widening US health disadvantage, high death rates in 2020, and continued inequitable effects on racial and ethnic minority groups are likely the products of longstanding policy choices and systemic racism.

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1343 (Published 24 June 2021)Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1343

Author(s): Steven H Woolf, Ryan K Masters, Laudan Y Aron

Publication Date: 24 June 2021

Publication Site: bmj

Black and Hispanic Americans Suffer Most in Biggest US Decline in Life Expectancy Since WWII

Excerpt:

Indeed, new research published Wednesday in the BMJ shows just how wide that gap has grown. Life expectancy across the country plummeted by nearly two years from 2018 to 2020, the largest decline since 1943, when American troops were dying in World War II, according to the study. But while white Americans lost 1.36 years, Black Americans lost 3.25 years and Hispanic Americans lost 3.88 years. Given that life expectancy typically varies only by a month or two from year to year, losses of this magnitude are “pretty catastrophic,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and lead author of the study.

Over the two years included in the study, the average loss of life expectancy in the U.S. was nearly nine times greater than the average in 16 other developed nations, whose residents can now expect to live 4.7 years longer than Americans. Compared with their peers in other countries, Americans died not only in greater numbers but at younger ages during this period.

The U.S. mortality rate spiked by nearly 23% in 2020, when there were roughly 522,000 more deaths than normally would be expected. Not all of these deaths were directly attributable to covid-19. Fatal heart attacks and strokes both increased in 2020, at least partly fueled by delayed treatment or lack of access to medical care, Woolf said. More than 40% of Americans put off treatment during the early months of the pandemic, when hospitals were stretched thin and going into a medical facility seemed risky. Without prompt medical attention, heart attacks can cause congestive heart failure; delaying treatment of strokes raises the risk of long-term disability.

Author(s): Liz Szabo

Publication Date: 24 June 2021

Publication Site: Kaiser Health News

The State of Health for Blacks in Chicago

Link: https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/cdph/CDPH/Healthy%20Chicago/CDPH_BlackHealth7c_DIGITAL.pdf

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Leading causes of death among Blacks differ by sex. Among Black males, homicide and accidents (such as drug overdoses and motor vehicle accidents) combined make up almost as many deaths as deaths due to cancer. Stroke and kidney disease cause higher proportion of deaths among Black females compared to males and non-Blacks.

Author(s): Chicago Department of Public Health

Publication Date: June 2021

Publication Site: City of Chicago

Black life expectancy gap in Chicago continues to get worse, report finds

Link: https://chicago.suntimes.com/2021/6/15/22535760/black-life-expectancy-gap-state-health-blacks-chicago

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Black Chicagoans are expected to live more than nine years less than non-Black residents — and that gap in life expectancy is only growing, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report by the Chicago Department of Public Health presents a grim but unsurprising outlook on how inequities in housing, income, access to healthy food and trauma have contributed to the disparity in the city.

From 2012 to 2017, the life expectancy gap between Black residents and non-Black residents grew from 8.3 years to 9.2 years, the report found.

Black Chicagoans on average live 71.4 years while non-Black residents live 80.6 years. While non-Blacks saw their life expectancy drop by more than three months in those five years, life expectancy dropped for Blacks by more than 14 months. The report cites five main factors: chronic diseases, homicide, infant mortality, opioid overdoses and HIV, flu or other infections.

Author(s): Manny Ramos

Publication Date: 15 June 2021

Publication Site: Chicago Sun-Times

Bias isn’t the only problem with credit scores—and no, AI can’t help

Link: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/06/17/1026519/racial-bias-noisy-data-credit-scores-mortgage-loans-fairness-machine-learning/

Excerpt:

But in the biggest ever study of real-world mortgage data, economists Laura Blattner at Stanford University and Scott Nelson at the University of Chicago show that differences in mortgage approval between minority and majority groups is not just down to bias, but to the fact that minority and low-income groups have less data in their credit histories.

This means that when this data is used to calculate a credit score and this credit score used to make a prediction on loan default, then that prediction will be less precise. It is this lack of precision that leads to inequality, not just bias.

…..

But Blattner and Nelson show that adjusting for bias had no effect. They found that a minority applicant’s score of 620 was indeed a poor proxy for her creditworthiness but that this was because the error could go both ways: a 620 might be 625, or it might be 615.

Author(s): Will Douglas Heaven

Publication Date: 17 June 2021

Publication Site: MIT Tech Review