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Does unemployment increase suicide rates? The OECD panel evidence

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  • Noh, Yong-Hwan
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    Abstract

    Previous studies of whether unemployment increases suicide rates give mixed results. None of them controlled for an interaction between unemployment and income. This paper tests the hypothesis whether the relationship between unemployment rates and suicide rates vary according to the level of real per capita GDP. We use the cross-country panel fixed effects approach to exclude cross-sectional variations but exploit time-series ones. We support that higher income is associated with higher suicide rates. In particular, the evidence shows that the implied effect of unemployment on suicide rates is positive for countries with higher income. Actually, for countries with lower-income levels, there is a negative impact of unemployment on suicides.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 575-582

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:4:p:575-582

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

    Related research

    Keywords: Suicide Unemployment Interaction effects;

    References

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    1. Antonio Rodriguez Andres, 2005. "Income inequality, unemployment, and suicide: a panel data analysis of 15 European countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 439-451.
    2. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
    3. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    4. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
    5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
    6. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Soss, Neal M, 1974. "An Economic Theory of Suicide," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 83-98, Jan.-Feb..
    7. Chirinko, Robert S. & Fazzari, Steven M. & Meyer, Andrew P., 1999. "How responsive is business capital formation to its user cost?: An exploration with micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 53-80, October.
    8. Bijou Yang & David Lester, 1995. "Suicide, homicide and unemployment," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(8), pages 278-279.
    9. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Jungeilges, Jochen & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2002. "Economic welfare, civil liberty, and suicide: an empirical investigation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 215-231.
    12. Chuanc, Hwei-Lin & Huang, Wei-Chiao, 1997. "Economic and social correlates of regional suicide rates: A pooled cross-section and time-series analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 277-289.
    13. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2003. "A note on the effect of unemployment on mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 505-518, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Yamamura, Eiji & Andrés, Antonio R. & Katsaiti, Marina, 2011. "Does corruption affect suicide? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," MPRA Paper 34044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Okada, Keisuke & Samreth, Sovannroeun, 2013. "A study on the socio-economic determinants of suicide: Evidence from 13 European OECD countries," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 78-85.
    3. Stavrova, Olga & Schlösser, Thomas & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2011. "Are the unemployed equally unhappy all around the world? The role of the social norms to work and welfare state provision in 28 OECD countries," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 159-171, February.
    4. Eiji Yamamura & Antonio Andrés & Marina Katsaiti, 2012. "Does Corruption Affect suicide? Econometric Evidence from OECD Countries," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 40(2), pages 133-145, June.
    5. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2012. "Suicide and Religion: New Evidence on The Differences Between Protestantism and Catholicism," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-12, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    6. Mohseni-Cheraghlou, Amin, 2013. "Labor markets and mental wellbeing: Labor market conditions and suicides in the United States (1979–2004)," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 175-186.
    7. A. Bussu & C. Detotto & V. Sterzi, 2012. "Social conformity and suicide," Working Paper CRENoS 201207, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    8. Ferdi Botha, 2012. "The Economics Of Suicide In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 80(4), pages 526-552, December.

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