TUESDAY 26 JANUARY 2021, 1-2pm: DEPARMENTAL WEBINAR SERIES
Dr Anna Nicinska, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw
Soviet communism and health: the role of education
Later-life health is shaped by relevant factors that occurred over a life course, and their impact varies depending on individual education. We aim to examine how the events experienced in the past affected health of older adults living in post-communist countries, with particular focus on the role of the exposure to communist education. Although the health-education gradient has been examined for Western countries extensively, our understanding of the relationship between education and health in previously communist political-economic regimes remains limited.
Social institutions concerned with health care and behavioral risks varied substantially between communist and non-communist countries. Specifically, Soviet education system with particular attention paid to physical education, differed significantly from education system in Western countries. In addition, the transition from communism to free market regime brought institutional and economic shocks. These differences might have long-lasting effects especially if associated with the exposures during periods of life characterized by particular vulnerability.
We apply a difference-in-differences approach to SHARE and GGS data to find positive effects of education on later-life health. Interestingly, the effects of communist education are more pronounced than the education effects in Western European countries as well as in the post-communist countries after the regime transformation.
This work is supported by the Bekker programme of the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange and by the Polish National Science Center.
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