Lawrence King

Lawrence King
University of Cambridge | Cam

About

115
Publications
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3,813
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Additional affiliations
October 2017 - present
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Professor of Sociology and Political Economy

Publications

Publications (115)
Article
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International financial organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) play a central role in shaping the developmental trajectories of fiscally distressed countries through their conditional lending schemes, known as ‘structural adjustment programmes’. These programmes entail wide-ranging domestic policy reforms that influence local heal...
Article
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Deindustrialization is a major burden on workers' health in many countries, calling for theoretically informed sociological analysis. Here, we present a novel neo-classical sociological synthesis of the lived experience of deindustrialization. We conceptualize industry as a social institution whose disintegration has widespread implications for the...
Article
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Geographical inequalities in life and death are among the world's most pronounced in the United States. However, the driving forces behind this macroscopic variation in population health outcomes remain surprisingly understudied, both empirically and theoretically. The present article steps into this breach by assessing a number of theoretically in...
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted the role of America's overcrowded prisons as vectors of ill health, but robust analyses of the degree to which high rates of incarceration impact population-level health outcomes remain scarce. In this paper, we use county-level panel data from 2927 counties across 43 states between 1983 and 2014 and a...
Preprint
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An unprecedented mortality crisis struck Eastern Europe during the transition from socialism to capitalism. Working-class men without a college degree suffered the most. Some argue that economic dislocation caused stress and despair, leading to adverse health behavior and ill health (dislocation-despair approach). Others suggest that hazardous drin...
Preprint
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This article reexamines the argument that alcohol policies were the major factor behind the mortality crisis in postsocialist Russia. We show that the correlation between the Gorbachev anti-alcohol campaign (rebound hypothesis), alcohol prices in the 1990s (affordability hypothesis), and mortality reported in previous analyses is not robust to spli...
Preprint
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Background: As one of the world's most powerful international financial organisations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is uniquely positioned to shape global developmental trajectories by influencing domestic policy arrangements. However, its role in shaping population health is understudied. Methods: We use previously unavailable cross-natio...
Preprint
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International financial organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) play a central role in shaping the developmental trajectories of low- and middle-income countries through their conditional lending schemes, known as “structural adjustment programmes”. These programmes entail wide-ranging domestic policy reforms that influence local h...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ten countries with the fastest shrinking population are all located in Eastern Europe, with low fertility as one of the leading causes. In this article, we analyze the privatization of companies as a potential but so far neglected factor behind the postsocialist fertility decline. We argue that privatization is linked to lower fertility by cata...
Preprint
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A growing literature on deaths of despair has argued that workers' declining life expectancy in deindustrialized rustbelt areas in the U.S. and the associated deepening of health inequalities signal the profound existential crisis of contemporary capitalism. Competing explanations downplay the negative consequences of "creative destruction" and foc...
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Among the many drivers of health inequities, this article focuses on important, yet insufficiently understood, international-level determinants: economic globalization and the organizations that spread market-oriented policies to the developing world. One such organization is the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which provides financial assistanc...
Article
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Background Drug use disorders are an increasing cause of disability and early death in the USA, with substantial geographical variation. We aimed to investigate the associations between economic decline, incarceration rates, and age-standardised mortality from drug use disorders at the county level in the USA. Methods In this observational analysi...
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This article highlights an important yet insufficiently understood international-level determinant of inequality in the developing world: structural adjustment programs by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Studying a panel of 135 countries for the period 1980 to 2014, we examine income inequality using multivariate regression analysis correcte...
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This study examines the relationship between policy interventions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and de jure labor rights. Combining two novel data sets with unprecedented country-year coverage – leximetric data on labor laws and disaggregated data on IMF conditionality – our analysis of up to 70 developing countries from 1980 to 2014 dem...
Article
The mandate and competence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not cover food and agriculture policies. While there is anecdotal evidence that the IMF engages in these policies regardless, the state-of-the-art lacks a systematic empirical foundation to identify the extent of its mission creep into these sectors. Based on a combination of...
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Research on intergenerational social mobility and health-related behaviours yields mixed findings. Depending on the direction of mobility and the type of mechanisms involved, we can expect positive or negative association between intergenerational mobility and health-related behaviours. Using data from a retrospective cohort study, conducted in mor...
Article
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The administrative ability of the state to deliver effective policy is essential for economic development. While sociologists have long devoted attention to domestic forces underpinning state capacity, the authors focus on world system pressures from Western-dominated international organizations. Scrutinizing policy reforms mandated by the Internat...
Article
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An unprecedented mortality crisis befell the former socialist countries between 1989 and 1995, representing one of the greatest demographic shocks of the period after the Second World War. While it is likely that country‐level variation in the post‐socialist mortality crisis in Eastern Europe can be explained by a constellation of political and soc...
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Following calls for a more disaggregated approach to studying the consequences of IMF programs, scholars have developed new datasets of IMF-mandated policy reforms, or ‘conditionality.’ Initial studies have explored how conditions have, inter alia, affected tax revenues, public sector wages, and health systems. Notwithstanding the important contrib...
Article
Background: The aim of the study is 2-fold. Firstly, it attempts to investigate the potential impact of major political and economic changes on inequalities in all-cause mortality among men and women with different levels of education in three Eastern European countries. Secondly, to identify changes in contribution of smoking and drinking to educ...
Article
Aims This study investigated the relationship between alcohol consumption and mortality among males and females in three Eastern European countries. Specifically, the study examined the role of drinking frequency, the mortality risk which is posed by the combination of frequent drinking, binge drinking and other hazardous drinking habits, and wheth...
Article
Background: A large proportion of premature deaths in Russia since the early 1990s, following the transition from communism, have been attributed to hazardous drinking. Little is known about the correlates of alcohol consumption. We present new data on the consumption of alcoholic beverages among middle-aged and older Russians and identify socio-d...
Article
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Eastern Europe underwent one of the most dramatic economic and demographic changes in recent history with skyrocketing mortality rates in some countries during the 1990s. The case of Hungary among the post-socialist transition countries is puzzling for several reasons. Although the Hungarian transition has been often characterised as smooth and suc...
Article
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Research on the health outcomes of globalisation and economic transition has yielded conflicting results, partly due to methodological and data limitations. Specifically, the outcomes of changes in foreign investment and state ownership need to be examined using multilevel data, linking macro-effects and micro-effects. We exploited the natural expe...
Article
Aims: To assess the relationship between alcohol intake frequency and mortality among males and females in three Eastern European populations, and to estimate the additional mortality risk posed by a combination of frequent drinking, binge drinking and other hazardous drinking habits. Design: Retrospective cohort study; the cohort consisted of c...
Article
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Objectives: The very high rates of smoking among men and the rapid changes among women in the Post-Soviet countries mean that this region offers an opportunity to understand better the intergenerational role of parental influences on smoking. Methods: In this study, we exploit a unique data set, the PrivMort cohort study conducted in 30 Russian...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Research on the health outcomes of globalisation and economic transition has yielded conflicting results, partly due to methodological and data limitations. Specifically, the outcomes of changes in foreign investment and state ownership need to be examined using multilevel data, linking macro-effects and micro-effects. We exploited the...
Article
Background: The health gap between the top and the bottom of the income distribution is widening rapidly in the USA, but the lifespan of America's poor depends substantially on where they live. We ask whether two major developments in American society, deindustrialization and incarceration, can explain variation among states in life expectancy of...
Article
Full-text available
Eastern Europe underwent one of the most dramatic economic and demographic changes in recent history with skyrocketing mortality rates in some countries during the 1990s. The case of Hungary among the post-socialist transition countries is puzzling for several reasons. Although the Hungarian transition has often been characterized as smooth and suc...
Article
Full-text available
Parental education is located at the center of global efforts to improve child health. In a developing-country context, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plays a crucial role in determining how governments allocate scarce resources to education and public health interventions. Under reforms mandated by IMF structural adjustment programs, it may...
Article
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Background.: The estimated prevalence of smoking and proportion of deaths due to tobacco in Eastern European countries are among the highest in the world. Existing estimates of mortality attributable to smoking in the region are mostly indirect. The aim of this analysis was to calculate the proportion of tobacco-attributed deaths in three Eastern...
Article
Parental education is located at the center of global efforts to improve child health. In a developing-country context, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plays a crucial role in determining how governments allocate scarce resources to education and public health interventions. Under reforms mandated by IMF structural adjustment programs, it may...
Article
Full-text available
Background Population-level data suggest that economic disruptions in the early 1990s increased working-age male mortality in post-Soviet countries. This study uses individual-level data, using an indirect estimation method, to test the hypothesis that fast privatisation increased mortality in Russia. Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we...
Article
Full-text available
Background Population-level data suggest that economic disruptions in the early 1990s increased working-age male mortality in post-Soviet countries. This study uses individual-level data, using an indirect estimation method, to test the hypothesis that fast privatisation increased mortality in Russia. Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we...
Article
Full-text available
In order to address the lack of reliable indicators of corruption, this article develops a composite indicator of high-level institutionalised corruption through a novel ‘Big Data’ approach. Using publicly available electronic public procurement records in Hungary, we identify “red flags” in the public procurement process and link them to restricte...
Article
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Background Previous research using routine data identified rapid mass privatisation as an important driver of mortality crisis following the collapse of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. However, existing studies on the mortality crisis relying on individual level or routine data cannot assess both distal (societal) and proximal (individual)...
Article
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In recent years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has re-emerged as a central actor in global economic governance. Its rhetoric and policies suggest that the organization has radically changed the ways in which it offers financial assistance to countries in economic trouble. We revisit two long-standing controversies: Has the policy content of...
Chapter
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This chapter summarizes the theory and evidence regarding Mass Privatization programmes in the post-communist environment. It first defines Mass Privatization and compares it to other ways of privatization used during the postcommunist transition. It then summarizes the economic and political arguments for and against this method of privatization....
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There is widespread agreement that civil war obstructs efforts to eradicate polio. It is suggested that Islamist insurgents have a particularly negative effect on vaccination programmes, but this claim is controversial. We analyse cross-national data for the period 2003-14 using negative binomial regressions to investigate the relationship betwee...
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It is not well understood how economic crises affect infectious disease incidence and prevalence, particularly among vulnerable groups. Using a susceptible-infected-recovered framework, we systematically reviewed literature on the impact of the economic crises on infectious disease risks in migrants in Europe, focusing principally on HIV, TB, hepat...
Article
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The relationship between health policy in low-income countries (LICs) and structural adjustment programs devised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been the subject of intense controversy over past decades. While the influence of the IMF on health policy can operate through various pathways, one main link is via public spending on health....
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Greece has been the country most affected by the economic crisis in Europe. Available evidence points to a deterioration in the health status of the population, with vulnerable groups being particularly affected. In relation to infectious disease, the country has recorded an …
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Sharp economic downturns can have deleterious implications for population health, and vulnerable groups in particular. However, the links between the current economic crises in a number of European countries and infectious disease transmission among …
Chapter
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The paper explores the impact of EU funds on institutionalised grand corruption in public procurement between 2009-2012 in three countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. We analyse a unique pooled database containing contract-level public procurement information for all three countries. We develop a composite corruption risks indicator bas...
Article
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A recent Lancet article reported the first reliable estimates of suicide rates in India. National-level suicide rates are among the highest in the world, but suicide rates vary sharply between states and the causes of these differences are disputed. We test whether differences in the structure of agricultural production explain inter-state variatio...
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Recent years have seen an increasing number of empirical papers using subjective indicators in cross-country quantitative analyses of growth. We evaluate potential observer biases in the three most commonly employed subjective measures of property rights – taken from the Heritage Foundation, Fraser Institute, and World Economic Forum. Drawing on cr...
Technical Report
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Although both the academic and policy communities have attached great importance to measuring corruption, most of the currently available measures are biased and too broad to test theory or guide policy. This article proposes a new composite indicator of grand corruption based on a wide range of elementary indicators. These indicators are derived f...
Article
Standard policy prescriptions for improving public health in less developed countries (LDCs) prioritise raising average income levels over redistributive policies since it is widely accepted that 'wealthier is healthier'. It is argued that income inequality becomes a significant predictor of public health only after the 'epidemiological transition'...
Article
Official data on sex ratios at birth suggest a rise in sex-selective abortions in some post-Soviet states following the introduction of ultrasonography. However, questions remain about the validity of official data in these nations as well as whether the high sex ratios at birth are a statistical artifact. Trends in sex ratios at birth from 1985 to...
Chapter
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This report investigates corruption risk of EU funds spending in Hungary within the framework of the Public Procurement Law. Its finding is that in spite of what is a tight regulatory framework EU funds are likely to fuel the abuse of public spending. Even though public procurement using EU funds faces considerably more stringent regulation, their...
Article
Maoist insurgent or Naxalite activity has expanded markedly in India over the past three decades, especially in the central tribal belt. This paper first uses a unique, district-level dataset to demonstrate that insurgency does not, as is widely argued, occur where tribals or Adivasis have been dispossessed of their land and forced to work as landl...
Technical Report
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This paper develops 30 novel quantitative indicators of grand corruption that operationalize 20 distinct techniques of corruption in the context of public procurement. Each indicator rests on a thorough qualitative understanding of rent extraction from public contracts by corrupt networks as evidenced by academic literature, interviews and media co...
Article
Objective: First, to identify risks associated with the scientific evaluation of drugs considered for state reimbursement in Poland through exploring strategies of influence employed by multinational drug companies in relation to the Agency for Health Technology Assessment (AHTAPol). Second, to ascertain whether the outcomes of drug evaluation mee...