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Hertzman, Clyde & Siddiqi, Arjumand A. (2000). Health and Rapid Economic Change in the Late Twentieth Century. Social Science & Medicine, 51(6), 809-819.


Rapidly expanding economies, such as the post-war Tiger Economies, are associated with increasing health and rapidly contracting economies, such as Central and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, are associated with declining health. In Central and Eastern Europe health decline in association with economic contraction has been mediated by changes in income distribution and, also, by health-determining aspects of civil society. The nations of Central and Eastern Europe are an example of swift economic and political transformation occurring concurrently with economic decline; with increasing disparity in income distributions; and with high levels of distrust in civil institutions. Concurrent with these declines was a marked reduction in health status, described here in terms of life expectancy. Conversely, the nations of Southeast Asia experienced rapid economic growth and increasing life expectancies. Though data are scarce, the experience of the Tiger Economies appears to be one of economic growth; a virtuous cycle of increased investment in education and housing; and increasing parity in income distribution based upon a relatively equitable distribution of returns on education.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Science & Medicine


Hertzman, Clyde
Siddiqi, Arjumand A.