Book Chapter

Population crisis and rising mortality in transitional Russia

Shkolnikov, V. M., Cornia, G. A.

In: Cornia, G. A., Paniccià, R. (Eds.): The mortality crisis in transitional economies, 253-279 (2000)
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

ISBN 0-19-829741-6


"Over the last few years, the international academic community, media, and public opinion have become increasingly concerned with the dramatic population crisis which has affected Russia in the wake of a difficult transition to marked economy. The most dramatic manifestation of this crisis is the appoximately 2 million additional deaths which were recorded between 1990 and 1995 … The understanding of the recent mortality crisis in Russia requires disentangling the telative impact of at least three factors, namely: (1) the long-term trend; (2) the large fluctuation of the mid-1980s; and (3) the recent transition-related socioeconomic crisis. In many respects, the changes of the 1990s represent the acutization of a long-term phenomenon. Yet , with the onset of the transition, the mortality icreases have become much steeper and larger deviations were recorded from the long-term trend. This chapter focuses on the features, components, and causes of the transition's mortality crisis. Its purpose is to discuss the state of knowledge in this field, prsent stylized facts on the short- and long-term trends in this area, discuss mortality fifferentials, and test the explanatory power of alternative causal models. While the chapter sheds some light on the causal mechanism behind the current crisis, data limitations prevent arriving at a final and conclusive explanation of the phenomenon at hand." (INTRODUCTION)