2003 und 2006 publizierte die renommierte Medzinzeitschrift Lancet zwei Studien zu den Opfern des Irakkrieges, die nach diesen Studien weit höher lagen als bis dahin angenommen. Auf Wikipedia ist eine sehr detaillierte Übersicht zu der langanhaltenden Debatte dieser Studien erschienen, die weltweite Resonanz fanden. Kaum Resonanz dagegen hatte eine Anfang 2009 ebenfalls in Lancet erschienene Untersuchung (The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9661, S. 399 – 407, 31.1. 2009) von David Stuckler, Lawrence King und Martin McKee über „Mass privatisation and the post-communist mortality crisis: a cross-national analysis„. Sie untersuchte die Entwicklung der Sterblichkeitsraten Erwachsener in der Transitionsperiode in 25 Ländern zwischen 1989 und 2002. In der Zusammenfassung der Studie heisst es:
We defined mass privatisation programmes as transferring at least 25% of large state-owned enterprises to the private sector within 2 years with the use of vouchers and give-aways to firm insiders. To isolate the effect of mass privatisation, we used models to control for price and trade liberalisation, income change, initial country conditions, structural predispositions to higher mortality, and other potential confounders. (…) Mass privatisation programmes were associated with an increase in short-term adult male mortality rates of 12·8% (95% CI 7·9—17·7; p<0·0001), with similar results for the alternative privatisation indices from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (7·8% [95% CI 2·8—13·0]). One mediating factor could be male unemployment rates, which were increased substantially by mass privatisation (56·3% [28·3—84·3]; p<0·0001). Each 1% increase in the percentage of population who were members of at least one social organisation decreased the association of privatisation with mortality by 0·27%; when more than 45% of a population was a member of at least one social organisation, privatisation was no longer significantly associated with increased mortality rates (3·4% [95% CI −5·4 to 12·3]; p=0·44). Interpretation: Rapid mass privatisation as an economic transition strategy was a crucial determinant of differences in adult mortality trends in post-communist countries; the effect of privatisation was reduced if social capital was high. These findings might be relevant to other countries in which similar policies are being considered.Der Anstieg von knapp 13 % entspricht 1 Million Sterbefälle.
Die Universität Oxford resümierte in ihrer Presseeklärung:
The rapid privatisation programme, part of a plan known by economists as ‘shock therapy’, led to a 56 per cent increase in unemployment, which the study says played an important role in explaining why privatisation claimed so many lives. Many employers provided extensive health and social care for their employees, so through privatisation workers experienced the ‘double whammy’ of losing not only their livelihood but also their means of surviving the crisis. [Die Auoren] took death rates reported by the World Heath Organisation for men of working age (15-59 years) in 25 post-communist countries and compared them to the timing and extent of participation in mass privatisation and other transition policies. The team took into account other factors that might affect rising death rates (such as economic depression, initial conditions and health infrastructure). They also examined other measures of privatisation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a bank which gave loans in support of radical mass privatisation. During the 1990s, former communist countries underwent the world’s worst peacetime mortality crisis in the past 50 years – with over three million avoidable deaths and 10 million ‘missing’ men, according to the United Nations.
Diese Studie blieb in der breiteren Öffentlichkeit hierzulande weitgehend unbekannt – wenn überhaupt, stieß sie auf deutliche Kritik, (auch hier) die in einer Replik der Verfasser von 2010 detailliert zurückgewiesen wurde.