Economics of Life and Death


The classical textbook definition of economics portrays the field as one that deals chiefly with how a society employs limited resources with alternative uses to produce goods and services for present and/or future consumption. However, in a recent issue of Scientific American, Amartya Sen exhorted professional economists to look at economic science not as a discipline solely concerned with income and wealth, but as one that deals with social issues and paradoxes such as islands of poverty in rich nations, famines amidst plenty, and higher mortality rates and lower survival rates for racial and ethnic minorities. Given this backdrop,  this  paper will deal with what Sen called "The Economics of Life and Death." Specifically, the paper examines the correlates of premature death, infant mortality rates, and the associated costs.


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