Journal article

Transition Welfare Gaps: One Closed, Another to Follow?

Year:

2020

Published in:

Economics of Transition and Institutional Change

Authors:

happiness
self-rated health
transition countries
Eastern Europe

Respondents from post-communist countries have been found to systematically report lower levels of happiness and self-rated health. While the first welfare gap in happiness has closed recently, the second transition gap in self-perceived health only started to close. Specifically, this paper shows that treating all transition countries as a homogeneous group may be misleading and therefore divides 28 transition countries into three groups. As a result, in the most recent 2016 round of the ‘Life in Transition’ survey, transition countries in Southern Europe are no longer found to be different from non-transition nations in terms of their self-rated health. Although the gap in self-perceived health for transition nations in Eastern Europe is present in a basic model, it becomes less statistically and economically significant when subjective beliefs and macro-level variables are added. Countries from the former Soviet Union and Mongolia remain the only group in which respondents report 16.5%–29.1% lower probability of ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ health compared to other transition and non-transition countries. Controlling for communist party membership, ideological beliefs and macro-level variables somewhat reduces the gap for the former Soviet Union and Mongolia but it remains significant in multiple robustness checks. Although the gap in self-rated health now applies to only one group of transition countries, it remains an important empirical puzzle with far-reaching implications for health policy, demand for healthcare and the process of transition.

Other publications by

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Publisher: BMC Geriatrics

Authors: Fredric D Wolinsky, Suzanne Bentler, Elizabeth A Cook, Elizabeth A Chrischilles, Li Liu, Kara B Wright, John F Geweke, Obrizan Maksym, Claire E Pavlik, Robert L Ohsfeldt, Michael P Jones, Robert B Wallace , Gary E Rosenthal

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Publisher: The Journals of Gerontology

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