Drug overdoses now account for more deaths in the United States than traffic deaths or suicides, and most of the increase in overdose deaths since 2010 can be attributed to opioids--a class of drugs that includes both prescription pain relievers and illegal narcotics. We look at trends in drug use and overdose deaths to document how the opioid epidemic has evolved over time and to determine whether it could be large enough to impact the labor force.
We document changes in a measure of income mobility over the past 40 years, a period in which income inequality has increased. We find a modest level of movement through the distribution, particularly across generations.
Our analysis shows that exposure to violence in early childhood is related to higher mortality in adulthood for black males and is also related to a host of undesirable outcomes later on for both black and white males.