Growing Inequality: Bridging Complex Systems, Population Health and Health Disparities

Growing evidence indicates that no single factor—but a system of intertwined causes—explains why America’s health is poorer than the health of other wealthy countries and why health inequities persist despite our efforts. Teasing apart the relationships between these many causes to find solutions has proven extraordinarily difficult. But now researchers are uncovering groundbreaking insights using computer-based systems science tools to simulate how these determinants come together to produce levels of population health and disparities and test new solutions.

The culmination of over five years of work by experts from a more than a dozen disciplines, this book represents a bold step forward in identifying why some populations are healthy and others are not. Describing a series of studies that apply the techniques of systems science, it shows how these tools can be used to increase our understanding of the individual, group, and institutional factors that generate a wide range of health and social problems. Most importantly, it demonstrates the utility and power of these techniques to both wisely guide our understanding and help policy makers know what works.

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