Abstract

Epidemiological transition theory suggests that two populations existing under disparate socioeconomic conditions would have different life expectancies as the result of cause-of-death differences. The effect of racial socioeconomic differentials on the total racial life expectancy differential are examined as they act through specific cause-of-death differentials. Results suggest that residential isolation of blacks has a strong effect on the total life expectancy differential as it acts through the racial homicide differential. The racial unemployment difference also has a strong effect on the total differential as it acts through the racial heart disease differential. Implications of the findings for reducing life expectancy differentials are discussed.

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