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Regular version of the site

Article

Did Mass Privatisation really increase Post-Communist male mortality?

The Lancet. 2010. Vol. 375. No. 9712.
Gerry C., Mickiewicz T., Nikoloskic Z.

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.