Institute of Education


Health along the colour line: Quantifying the roles of economic, psychosocial and structural factors

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, 04 December 2019

Doctor examining his patient

In this seminar, Tyson Brown will discuss his research about the mechanisms and “upstream” macro-level drivers of racial inequalities in health, focusing on the United States.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Dingeman Wiertz


Room G02
55-59 Gordon Square

While it is well established that racial minorities in the US live shorter, sicker lives than their white counterparts, relatively little is known about the mechanisms and “upstream” macro-level drivers of racial inequalities in health. Against this backdrop, Tyson Brown will present two studies that aim to address these knowledge gaps. 

The first study uses data from the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to quantify the contributions of socioeconomic adversity and stress processes to racial inequalities in health. The findings show, among other things, that unequal access to socioeconomic resources and racialised exposure to stressors account for a substantial portion of racial inequalities in health. 

The second study draws on administrative data from numerous sources to measure state-level racial stratification across multiple domains (political participation, education, economics, housing, and the judicial system) as indicators of macro-level structural racism. This data is then linked with individual-level health and demographic data, with results revealing that state-level structural racism is harmful for black people's health but not predictive of white people's health.


About the Speaker

Tyson H. Brown

Tyson H. Brown is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University, where he directs the Center on Health & Society. During the current academic year, he is visiting Nuffield College at the University of Oxford.

More about Tyson H. Brown