IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Mortality Crisis in East Germany


  • Riphahn, Regina T.

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    (University of Bonn)


A number of studies suggest that mortality rates among East German men increased in the wake of reunification, in particular between 1989 and 1991, in some age groups by up to the thirty percent. This study first examines the developments of mortality and cause of death statistics based on detailed regional data. The results indicate that there was indeed an increase in mortality rates which cannot be dismissed as a statistical artefact. Next, the paper discusses various theories explaining mortality crises and their relevance for the case of East Germany. Based on individual-level panel data the relationship between exposure to stress and overall health is shown. Apparently, the increase in mortality can be explained by the increase in individual stress after the economic, cultural and political consequences of reunification.

Suggested Citation

  • Riphahn, Regina T. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "The Mortality Crisis in East Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1989:79:5:563-564_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sterling, Peter & Eyer, Joe, 1981. "Biological basis of stress-related mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 3-42, January.
    3. Henry, James P., 1982. "The relation of social to biological processes in disease," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 369-380, January.
    4. Wagner, Gert G., 2007. "Ungleichheit," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 87(10), pages 632-632.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Eibich, Peter & Ziebarth, Nicolas, 2014. "Examining the Structure of Spatial Health Effects in Germany Using Hierarchical Bayes Models," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 305-320.
    2. Bowles, David & Zuchandke, Andy, 2012. "Entwicklung eines Modells zur Bevölkerungsprojektion - Modellrechnungen zur Bevölkerungsentwicklung bis 2060," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-499, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    3. Sunnee Billingsley, 2009. "Downward mobility, unemployment and mortality," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-015, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Irina Denisova, 2009. "Mortality in Russia: Microanalysis," Working Papers w0128, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    5. Lackó, Mária, 2010. "A magyarországi rossz egészségi állapot lehetséges magyarázó tényezői. Összehasonlító makroelemzés magyar és osztrák adatok alapján, 1960-2004
      [The poor health status of Hungarians: a comparative m
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 753-778.
    6. Irina Denisova, 2010. "Adult mortality in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(2), pages 333-363, April.

    More about this item


    transition; stress; mortality; East Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.