Some Explanation of Disparities of Mortality Rates of Working Age Population in Eastern, Central and Western Europe
There is considerable variation in mortality rates of the working age populations across the “old” and the “new” EU member states, and former Soviet Union countries. The explanation for these differences is investigated by scrutinizing three different groups of factors: 1. Socio-economic factors; 2. Lifestyle factors; 3. Health care resources. The analysis is based on regression analysis of health production functions (HPF) calculated from cross-country estimations for 2011. The explanatory variables of the health production function can explain 83-93% of the cross-country differences in mortality rates. The most important contribution comes from the past economic and political system represented by the historical structure of production and the present level of development. We confirmed what other authors found that the “example of Europe shows political system can significantly affect health and mortality conditions.” Economic and lifestyle disadvantages turn out to be more harmful for men than women. The effects of health expenditure, the geographical location of the country and the relative prices of alcohol and tobacco products are similar for the two genders. The consumption of spirits and tobacco, the share of the hidden economy, and the education level are significant explanatory factors for men, but non-significant for women.
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