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Changes in income inequality and suicide rates after “shock therapy”: evidence from Eastern Europe
  1. R De Vogli1,
  2. D Gimeno1,2
  1. 1
    International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus, San Antonio, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr R De Vogli, International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1–19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK; r.devogli{at}ucl.ac.uk

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In the last decades, public policies at the global and national levels have been dominated by reforms aiming at international integration such as deregulation, privatisation, stabilisation and liberalisation.1 A particularly radical version of these reforms, often called economic “shock therapy”, has been implemented in Eastern Europe, on the advice of economists such as Jeffrey Sachs and institutions including the International Monetary Fund.2 Two of the most prominent consequences of these reforms have been the sharp increase in income inequality and the worsening of living standards.3 In this exploratory analysis, we examine the association between changes in income inequality and changes in suicide rates after the advent of economic globalisation policies in Eastern Europe.

Methods and results

The analysis focused on changes between 1989 (the beginning of economic reform …

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