Economic reform and mortality in the former Soviet Union: a study of the suicide epidemic in the 1990s
IZA, 2001 - 16 pages
Male suicide rates in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic countries increased substantially in the early 1990s and are now the highest in the world. To what extent is this suicide epidemic explained by the macroeconomic instability experienced by these countries in that period? Fixed effects regressions across 22 transition economies indicate that male suicide rates are highly sensitive to the state of the macroeconomy, suggesting that the steep and prolonged declines in GDP in the western countries of the former Soviet Union may have been partly to blame for the suicide epidemic. Evidence also indicates that the general adult male mortality crisis in the region had a 'feedback' effect on suicide rates, with the loss of a spouse or friend - or declining life expectancy itself - contributing to rising suicide rates. Female suicide rates, in contrast, are insensitive to the state of the macroeconomy and are more strongly related to alcohol consumption.
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22 transition economies age pop.b alcohol consumption Baltic countries Belarus cause of death changes circulatory diseases correlated crime rates Czech Czech Republic deaths due declining life expectancy divorce rates Earnings economic approach Economic Reform Empirical employment to population Estonia expectancy at age expectancy at birth expectancy declined female life expectancy female suicide rate Fixed effects regressions fluctuations former Soviet Union formerly socialist countries GNP per capita Gong Hamermesh horizon human capital Hungary income increase in deaths increase in mortality increase in suicide individual invest in health labor economics Labor Market Latvia lifetime expected utility Lithuania lmmigrants lmpact LofStrom lZA Discussion Papers macroeconomic male life expectancy male suicide rates Model mortality belt mortality crisis mortality rates Panel Data percent Poland rates in Russia Reform and Mortality regressors related to male remaining life expectancy Republic rising suicide rates Romania Slovenia social Soest stock of health suicide epidemic Ukraine Unemployment Williams College