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Economics Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 137412, 10 pages
Research Article

Post-Communist Health Transitions in Central and Eastern Europe

Department of Economics, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC, Canada V2N 4Z9

Received 31 August 2011; Revised 1 November 2011; Accepted 1 November 2011

Academic Editor: Paresh Kumar Narayan

Copyright © 2012 Jalil Safaei. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have gone through immense political and socioeconomic restructuring after the collapse of communism around 1990. Such transition has affected the lives of populations in these countries in many significant respects. A key aspect of life and wellbeing in any society is that of population health. This paper traces the transitions in population health—life expectancies and mortality rates for both males and females—in seven of the CEE countries during the two decades after the fall of communism. We estimate a series of panel data models to identify some of the common factors that would explain health transitions in these countries, while allowing for country-specific variability. Our findings indicate that the health transitions are strongly country specific. Moreover, income per capita and trade openness are statistically significant common contributors to health transitions.