Movember 2022: Men and Drug Overdoses (and Giving Tuesday!)

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/movember-2022-men-and-drug-overdoses

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Remember the graph I made showing the suicide trend for men crossing over from prostate cancer?

Let me layer on unintentional drug overdoses:

Yeah, it’s as bad as it looks.

While death rates due to suicide increased by about 30% over the 20-year period, death rates due to unintentional drug overdoses increased by over 500%.

None of this is really a surprise. I’ve written about the drug OD problem many times before, which had a horrible trend before the pandemic and got much, much worse during the pandemic.

Much of the increase came in 2020 and 2021 — over 30% in 2020, and 17% in 2021. These are huge increases on rates that were already bad.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 29 Nov 2022

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Women now outnumber men in the U.S. college-educated labor force

Link: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/09/26/women-now-outnumber-men-in-the-u-s-college-educated-labor-force/

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In the second quarter of 2022, the labor force participation rate for college-educated women was 69.6%, the same as in the second quarter of 2019. In contrast, men and most other educational groups now have lower rates of labor force participation than they did in the second quarter of 2019.

This shift in the college-educated labor force – as women now comprise a majority – comes around four decades after women surpassed men in the number of Americans earning a bachelor’s degree each year.

Author(s): Richard Fry

Publication Date: 26 Sept 2022

Publication Site: Pew Research Center

SOA Diversity Report

Link: https://www.soa.org/4a79dc/globalassets/assets/files/static-pages/about/diversity-inclusion/summer-2022-diversity-report.pdf

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The Society of Actuaries (SOA) leadership and staff work closely with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) to support the journey to increase diversity in membership and in the actuarial profession, as part of the SOA’s Long-Term Growth Strategy.

We strive for transparency and accountability in our DEI efforts and are committed to sharing our demographic data and long-term goals to support our pledge and responsibility. We have collected member voluntary demographic data since 2015. With this data, we present an infographic for the pathway from aspiring actuaries to members with ASA or FSA designations.

Author(s): Society of Actuaries

Publication Date: Summer 2022

Publication Site: Society of Actuaries

World Suicide Prevention Day: U.S. Suicide Trend Update through 2021

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/world-suicide-prevention-day-us-suicide

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In updating the 2021 numbers, there is some bad news: while suicide rates had decreased in 2020, in 2021 they increased to continue a worrying trend:

The increase in 2021 brought the age-adjusted death rate back to a level close to the peak, which was in 2018.

As noted on the graph, the cumulative increase in the age-adjusted death rate from the minimum in 2000 to the current levels has been 35%. This is very worrying.

I could have exaggerated this trend by starting my vertical scale at 10 instead of 0, but I think it’s obvious enough the trend is bad.

I don’t need to exaggerate.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 10 Sep 2022

Publication Site: STUMP on substack

Excess mortality in England

Link: https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiYmUwNmFhMjYtNGZhYS00NDk2LWFlMTAtOTg0OGNhNmFiNGM0IiwidCI6ImVlNGUxNDk5LTRhMzUtNGIyZS1hZDQ3LTVmM2NmOWRlODY2NiIsImMiOjh9

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The numbers of expected deaths are estimated using statistical models and based on previous 5 years’ (2015 to 2019) mortality rates. Weekly monitoring of excess mortality from all causes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic provides an objective and comparable measure of the scale of the pandemic [reference 1]. Measuring excess mortality from all causes, instead of focusing solely on mortality from COVID-19, overcomes the issues of variation in testing and differential coding of cause of death between individuals and over time [reference 1].


In the weekly reports, estimates of excess deaths are presented by week of registration at national and subnational level, for subgroups of the population (age groups, sex, deprivation groups, ethnic groups) and by cause of death and place of death.

Author(s): Office for Health Improvement and Disparities

Publication Date: accessed 10 Aug 2022

Publication Site: Public PowerBI dashboard

Missing Americans: Early Death in the United States, 1933-2021

Link: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.06.29.22277065v1.full

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Age-specific mortality trends in the U.S. and other wealthy nations.Source: Human Mortality Database. Note: Figure shows deaths per 100K population, (A) 1933-2021 and (B) 2000-2021. Dark red line is U.S.; pink line is population-weighted average of other wealthy nations; grey lines are country-specific trends for other countries.

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We assessed how many U.S. deaths would have been averted each year, 1933-2021, if U.S. age-specific mortality rates had equaled those of other wealthy nations. The annual number of excess deaths in the U.S. increased steadily beginning in the late 1970s, reaching 626,353 in 2019. Excess deaths surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, there were 1,092,293 “Missing Americans” and 25 million years of life lost due to excess mortality relative to peer nations. In 2021, half of all deaths under 65 years and 91% of the increase in under-65 mortality since 2019 would have been avoided if the U.S. had the mortality rates of its peers. Black and Native Americans made up a disproportionate share of Missing Americans, although the majority were White.

One sentence summary In 2021, 1.1 million U.S. deaths – including 1 in 2 deaths under age 65 years – would have been averted if the U.S. had the mortality rates of other wealthy nations.

Author(s):

Jacob Bor, View ORCID ProfileAndrew C. Stokes, Julia Raifman, Atheendar Venkataramani, Mary T. Bassett, David Himmelstein, Steffie Woolhandler


doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.06.29.22277065

Publication Date: 30 Jun 2022

Publication Site: MedRXiV

A Four-Day Workweek Will Benefit Everyone, But Especially Women

Link: https://jacobin.com/2022/03/four-day-workweek-trial-gender-pension-gap

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A four-day week would make it easier to balance life and work responsibilities. This would decrease the pressure on women to drop out of full-time employment and make it easier for others to rejoin full-time employment if they wish. It would also decrease underemployment, lessen the costs of paid childcare, and help level the playing field for unpaid care work by keeping men at home longer.

A recent policy paper published by the Women’s Budget Group comments in regard to a four-day week: “As the marginal worker is usually female, this effect could reduce gender gaps in both employment and income.” As the definition of full-time employment is decreased, more women will surpass the £10,000 a year threshold for autoenrollment and also have higher sustained pension contributions throughout their working life.

Belmont Packaging in Wigan, a company that practices a four-day week, asked its employees how they spend their three-day weekend. One employee said, “It’s like a bank holiday every week. Not exactly like one, because the wife has me doing chores every Friday.” During the early months of the pandemic, when many workers were kept at home, research showed that men took on a greater share of housework and women’s disproportionate burden decreased.

Author(s): James Derry

Publication Date: 25 March 2022

Publication Site: Jacobin

When Harry Fired Sally: The Double Standard in Punishing Misconduct

Link: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/718964

Abstract:

We examine gender differences in misconduct punishment in the financial advisory industry. There is a “gender punishment gap”: following an incident of misconduct, female advisers are 20% more likely to lose their jobs and 30% less likely to find new jobs, relative to male advisers. The gender punishment gap is not driven by gender differences in occupation, productivity, nature of misconduct, or recidivism. The gap in hiring and firing dissipates at firms with a greater percentage of female managers and executives. We also explore the differential treatment of ethnic minority men and find similar patterns of “in-group” tolerance.

Author(s): Mark Egan, Gregor Matvos, and Amit Seru

Publication Date: May 2022

Publication Site: Journal of Political Economy; Volume 130, Number 5

Looking Beyond Sex

Link: https://theactuarymagazine.org/looking-beyond-sex/

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With nonbinary genders recognized on legal documents, customers are beginning to ask for forms and applications to include nonbinary options as well—so they’re not forced into a false selection. Even so, a person still could make an inaccurate selection. A customer falsely selecting a nonbinary gender is slightly less risky for the insurance company than selecting a false binary gender, as nonbinary rates are likely to fall somewhere between male and female to ensure they’re not discriminatory.

In the end, providing false information on an insurance application is fraudulent activity regardless of the question. Many of the states that include nonbinary gender markers on birth certificates and/or driver’s licenses already require the individual to sign an affidavit stating that they are not changing their gender marker for a fraudulent purpose. The benefits of including options for nonbinary customers and the potential for more accurate risk evaluations hopefully will outweigh a possible increase in fraudulent activity.

Author(s): Erin Sheriff

Publication Date: July 2020

Publication Site: The Actuary, SOA

COVID-19 pandemic causes ‘broken heart’ syndrome cases to surge: researchers

Link: https://www.foxnews.com/health/broken-heart-cases-surge-covid-pandemic-especially-women-researchers?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Excerpt:

Research has reportedly identified a spike in cases of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or “broken heart syndrome,” over the course of the coronavirus pandemic

Experts said the potentially fatal stress-induced heart condition is disproportionately affecting women.

“I don’t know how much we can really blame COVID, or how much of this is that we’re just recognizing more of it,” Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Barbra Streisand Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, told “Good Morning America” on Monday. “But, heart disease is the leading killer of women and all ages, including teenagers, midlife women and older women. This is just a component of that major killer. So, it’s really something that needs to be addressed.”

Merz said one in five of those who suffer from the heart-brain disorder will have another attack within a decade.

In an October news release, Cedars-Sinai shared Smidt Heart Institute research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, which suggests that middle-aged and older women are being diagnosed up to 10 times more often than younger women or men of any age.

The study suggested that the condition has become more common, with incidences rising since well before coronavirus swept the globe. 

Author(s): Julia Musto

Publication Date: 8 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Fox News

Swiss man changes gender to retire and receive his pension a year earlier

Link:https://rmx.news/switzerland/swiss-man-changes-gender-to-retire-and-receive-his-pension-a-year-earlier/

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A man in Switzerland has exploited an administrative loophole and formally changed his gender in order to retire a year earlier, it has emerged.

New rules introduced on Jan. 1 enable any Swiss resident with the “intimate conviction” that they do not belong to the sex they are registered as in the civil status register can apply to change their gender, in addition to their first name, for just 75 Swiss francs (€72).

And it took just four days for the system to be taken advantage of with Swiss daily Luzerner Zeitung reporting that a man from Lucerne applied to change his gender so that he could receive his state pension at the Swiss retirement age for women of 64, a year earlier than men.

While there are regulations supposedly in place to prevent individuals from making “manifestly abusive” applications, there is in reality “no obligation” on the part of civil servants to “verify the intimate conviction of the persons concerned” and the sincerity of the applicant is presumed in accordance with the principle of good faith.

Author(s): John Cody

Publication Date: 30 Jan 2022

Publication Site: Remix News

Men left behind

Link:https://allisonschrager.substack.com/p/known-unknowns-27b

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The economy is still short 4.2 million jobs, but as the virus (hopefully) recedes and remaining restrictions are lifted, these trends should continue. The labor market is on the road to recovery—or the cyclical piece of it is, anyway. But during each recession we see many prime-age men leave the labor force and never come back. This was the case during the last recession, too. Prime male labor force participation is still down nearly 1 percentage point from pre-pandemic levels, and this poses huge costs to the economy because a large number of productive workers are simply sitting out. This is terrible for social reasons as well, because work is important to feeling productive, for increasing stability, for marriage, and being fully productive members of society.

This is a difficult economic problem that falls under the category of “structural,” which means that the Fed’s tools are not well-equipped to deal with it. Even with a tight labor market and rising wages, men are simply not working.

Instead, we need to think more creatively and just fix what’s broken. The common answer is that some of this is driven by a skill mismatch and that there just aren’t many good jobs for men without a college degree. I’m not sure that’s true, it’s very hard to find a good plumber or electrician, which are very well-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. But they do require skills and training. Community college is often the answer we are given, but it has a terrible track record, primarily because it’s trying to paper over a bigger problem, namely the terrible quality of secondary school, which often fails to properly educate our teenagers. It seems like if we really wanted to keep men from leaving the labor market, this is the low-hanging fruit. Many people drop out of community college, but high school graduation rates are at record highs (or at least they were pre-pandemic). We can raise standards and accountability and fund more vocational high schools. However, tech education has become less popular from the 1980s to 2013, even if the skills are still in quite high demand.

Author(s): Allison Schrager

Publication Date: 7 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Known unknowns