During the early-1990s, adult mortality rates rose in most post-communist European countries. Substantial differences across countries and over time remain unexplained. Although previous studies have suggested that the pace of economic transition was a key driver of increased mortality rates, to our knowledge no study has empirically assessed the role of specific components of transition policies. We investigated whether mass privatisation can account for differences in adult mortality rates in such countries.
Mass privatisation programmes were associated with an increase in short-term adult male mortality rates of 12·8% (95% CI 7·9—17·7; p<0·0001), with similar results for the alternative privatisation indices from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (7·8% [95% CI 2·8—13·0]). One mediating factor could be male unemployment rates, which were increased substantially by mass privatisation (56·3% [28·3—84·3]; p<0·0001). Each 1% increase in the percentage of population who were members of at least one social organisation decreased the association of privatisation with mortality by 0·27%; when more than 45% of a population was a member of at least one social organisation, privatisation was no longer significantly associated with increased mortality rates (3·4% [95% CI −5·4 to 12·3]; p=0·44).
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The privatisation plague in Eastern Europe, during the last decade of the 20th century: