Details on the PhD Thesis



European Health Divide Revisited: Health in Transition Countries and Beyond

Dissertation committee:

Prof. Dr. Jan Delhey, Jacobs University Bremen (Chair)

Prof. Dr. Christian Welzel, Leuphana University

Prof. Dr. Ilkka H. Mäkinen, Södertörn University

Dr. Franziska Deutsch, Jacobs University Bremen 


27 September 2013 with special distinction

Degree received: 

6 December 2013, with distinction



The thesis is aimed at better understanding health and its determinants in the context of a broader Europe. It tries to incorporate the different theoretical and empirical approaches to the determinants of health, as well as utilises diverse methods and datasets. The work consists of six chapters: theoretical and conceptual framework, which serves as an umbrella for the five independent studies. The detailed literature review arrives at the main empirical framework — the augmented health production function, which is utilised and tested in four of the five studies. Three first studies focus on the 28 Central and East European (CEE) countries, while the other two look at the broader European context. In the first four chapters, health is the centre of the story, modelled within the augmented production function. The final study addresses the changes in the European health divide at the macro level over the past twenty years.

The findings are diverse and manifold. They primarily add to the literature on the determinants of health by bridging the diverging approaches and creating a theoretical framework — augmented health production function — for analysing the determinants of health, which can be further tested in other regions of the world. The divide in Europe — still often referred to as the "East-West divide" — has changed, and could adjust our whole understanding of European health patterns.

Full abstract is available here (pdf).

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