The Gorbachev Anti-Alcohol Campaign and Russia's Mortality Crisis

71 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2012

See all articles by Jay Bhattacharya

Jay Bhattacharya

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Christina Gathmann

Alfred-Weber Institut; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Grant Miller

Stanford University - School of Medicine; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 2012

Abstract

Political and economic transition is often blamed for Russia's 40% surge in deaths between 1990 and 1994. Highlighting that increases in mortality occurred primarily among alcohol-related causes and among working-age men (the heaviest drinkers), this paper investigates an alternative explanation: the demise of the 1985-1988 Gorbachev Anti-Alcohol Campaign. Using archival sources to build a new oblast-year data set spanning 1978-2000, we find a variety of evidence suggesting that the campaign's end explains a large share of the mortality crisis - implying that Russia's transition to capitalism and democracy was not as lethal as commonly suggested.

Suggested Citation

Bhattacharya, Jayanta and Gathmann, Christina and Miller, Grant, The Gorbachev Anti-Alcohol Campaign and Russia's Mortality Crisis (December 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18589. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2186319

Jayanta Bhattacharya (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research ( email )

Center for Health Policy
179 Encina Commons
Stanford, CA 94305-6019
United States
650-736-0404 (Phone)
650-723-1919 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Christina Gathmann

Alfred-Weber Institut ( email )

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Heidelberg, 69115
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=en&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos%

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~cgathman

Grant Miller

Stanford University - School of Medicine ( email )

291 Campus Drive
Li Ka Shing Building
Stanford, CA 94305-5101
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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