Life Expectancy Statistics
Matt Yglesias and Paul Krugman weigh in on interpreting life expectancy statistics across the U.S. and the Netherlands. The fact under consideration, from a few days ago, is that the U.S. has low life expectancy overall but superior life expectancy after you reach the age of 65.
One way to interpret this data (re: Yglesias and Krugman) is to think that the U.S. should spread Medicare to its entire population.
Does anyone know how, if at all, unnatural deaths affect these data? Consider four possibilities–young in the U.S., young in the Netherlands, old in the U.S., old in the Netherlands. I would bet that of these four groups, the rate of unnatural death (murder, car accidents, and so on) is highest for the young in the U.S. If true, and if the life expectancy data are not adjusted to remove unnatural deaths, then this seems to me the most likely explanation for the fact.