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Did Mass Privatisation really increase Post-Communist male mortality?

By C.J. Gerry, T.M. Mickiewicz and Z. Nikoloski


A recent article in the Lancet, by David Stuckler, Larry King and Martin McKee, investigated anew the fluctuations in adult male mortality rates that have come to characterise the so-called post-communist mortality crisis. Adopting a cross-country, time-series perspective the authors examined how the economic policy strategies of the 1990s impacted upon observed fluctuations in mortality. They conclude that the adoption of a strategy of rapid (mass) privatisation contributed to the adverse mortality trends. We subject that finding to closer scrutiny using the same data from which the Stuckler et al claim stems. We find that their claim that mass privatisation adversely affected male mortality trends in the post-Communist world does not stand up to closer examination. It is not supported empirically and is at odds with what we know about both transition in the post-communist world and about health trends over time in this region

Publisher: Centre for Comparative Economics (CCE), SSEES, UCL
Year: 2010
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Provided by: UCL Discovery

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  29. Using alternative lag lengths does not alter this observation.
  30. We also check these results using the Stuckler et al specification from column 1 but with the simple addition of the lagged version of the mass privatization variable. Our findings are confirmed.

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