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The Mortality Crisis in East Germany

  • Riphahn, Regina T.

    ()

    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()

    (IZA and 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.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6.

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Length: 82 pages
Date of creation: May 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: G. A. Cornia ; R. Paniccià (eds.), The Mortality Crisis in Transitional Economies, Oxford, 2000, 227-252; see IZA Reprints 60/00
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6
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  1. Henry, James P., 1982. "The relation of social to biological processes in disease," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 369-380, January.
  2. Sterling, Peter & Eyer, Joe, 1981. "Biological basis of stress-related mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 3-42, January.
  3. Wagner, Gert G., 2007. "Ungleichheit," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1998 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 87(10), pages 632.
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