Health, Hopelessness, and Social Norms
10 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2006
Date Written: June 2004
Following the break up of the Soviet Union, Russia experienced a rise in mortality unprecedented in the peacetime history of industrial nations. In just three years, from 1991 to 1994, life expectancy at birth fell six years for males (to 57.6) and three years for females (to 71.2). An important part of the ill health and high mortality of the Russian people can be attributed to feelings of hopelessness during the transition to a market economy, but an even larger part is a result of social norms that result in high consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, diets high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables, and lack of exercise.
Keywords: Russia, mortality, health
JEL Classification: I12, J11, P39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation