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Mortality in Russia Since the Fall of the Soviet Union

Elizabeth Brainerd

Comparative Economic Studies, 2021, vol. 63, issue 4, No 2, 557-576

Abstract: Abstract Adult mortality increased enormously in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union when the Soviet system collapsed 30 years ago. What has happened to mortality in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union? What explains the wide swings of mortality over time? This paper documents changes in mortality in Russia since 1989, and reviews the research in the economics and public health literature on the causes of the changes. The focus is on the post-2000 period, and the possible role played in recent declining mortality rates by Russia’s alcohol and tobacco control policies. The two themes that emerge are (1) that government policies are critical for understanding both rising and falling male mortality over this period, and (2) that the underlying causes of the mortality crisis and its reversal are difficult to clearly identify empirically and remain, at best, partially understood, leaving much scope for future research on this issue.

Keywords: Russia; Transitional economies; Mortality; Health; Alcohol; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1057/s41294-021-00169-w

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