, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 411–418

What difference would it make if cancer were eradicated? An examination of the taeuber paradox

  • Nathan Keyfitz

DOI: 10.2307/2060587

Cite this article as:
Keyfitz, N. Demography (1977) 14: 411. doi:10.2307/2060587


The immediate effect of discovering a way to cure cancer would be a reduction in the number of deaths in the United States by the number of people now dying from that cause. Within a short time, however, deaths from other causes would increase, and the net long-term effect would be relatively small. A parameter is derived that measures how much the expectation of life is increased by a marginal reduction in any cause of death. That parameter is additive in the several causes and has other advantages, though it does not avoid the assumption of independence.

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan Keyfitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Population StudiesHarvard UniversityCambridge

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