Illegal Drug Use, Crime, and Population Health in Post-Socialist Russia, 2001-2008

Saglar Bougdaeva, Abu Dhabi Education Council
Iliana V. Kohler, University of Pennsylvania

Using the Russian 2001–2008 panel data and controlling for vodka sales, poverty, and industrialization, this study shows that changes in population health are significantly explained by the hepatitis rate as a proxy measure of intravenous drug use and practices. Results may imply that drug trade-related crime compared to the intravenous drug use is more likely to be connected with homicide. Living along the Central Asian border costs both men and women two years of expected life and increases instances of homicidal violence by 14 per 100,000 of population, compared to the rest of the country. Results surprisingly show that in contrast to the rest of the country, an increase in registration of drug crime was associated with improvement of population health in the border regions. Finally, our findings confirm the Muslim health advantage, which is more pronounced during the peak of the Russian mortality crisis, especially among men.

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Presented in Session 129: Mortality Trends and Differentials II