Did Postcommunist Privatization Increase Mortality?

33 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2010 Last revised: 14 Mar 2011

See all articles by John S. Earle

John S. Earle

George Mason University - Schar School of Policy and Government; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Scott Gehlbach

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date Written: March 11, 2011


We reexamine the recent controversy over the possibility that mass enterprise privatization raised mortality in post-communist countries. Our analysis demonstrates that the country-level correlation of privatization and mortality reported in previous research is not robust to recomputing the mass-privatization measure, to assuming a short lag for economic policies to affect mortality, and to controlling for country-specific mortality trends. Our analysis of data from Russian regions also finds no evidence that privatization increased mortality. Finally, we show that there is little support for the assertion that privatization could have influenced mortality by increasing unemployment.

Keywords: privatization, mortality, postcommunist countries

JEL Classification: I18, J11, J21, P31, P36

Suggested Citation

Earle, John S. and Gehlbach, Scott, Did Postcommunist Privatization Increase Mortality? (March 11, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1517543 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1517543

John S. Earle

George Mason University - Schar School of Policy and Government ( email )

3351 Fairfax Drive
MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8023 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://earle.gmu.edu

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Scott Gehlbach (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-2391 (Phone)

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