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An economic interpretation of suicide cycles in Japan

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  • Jahyeong Koo
  • W. Michael Cox
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    Abstract

    Suicide rates in Japan have increased dramatically in recent years, making. Japan’s male rate the highest among developed economies. This study revises the standard economic model of suicide to accommodate Japan’s experience, focusing on the change in human capital for the unemployed. We then use the new model and de-trended data to empirically investigate the relationship between the suicide cycle and the unemployment cycle. Unlike previous aggregate time series studies, we find that the relationship between the suicide rate and the unemployment rate is significantly and robustly positive for both males and females even after controlling for several social variables.

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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/papers/2006/wp0603.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 0603.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:0603

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    Keywords: Suicide ; Human capital ; Unemployment;

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    1. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 2001. "Economic reform and mortality in the former Soviet Union: A study of the suicide epidemic in the 1990s," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 1007-1019, May.
    2. 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..
    3. Yoram Weiss & Robert J. Willis, . "Match Quality, New Information and Marital Dissolution," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 95-13, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Karen E. Norberg, 2001. "Explaining the Rise in Youth Suicide," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 219-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
    6. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Dave E. Marcotte, 2003. "The Economics of Suicide, Revisited," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 628-643, January.
    9. Platt, Stephen, 1984. "Unemployment and suicidal behaviour: A review of the literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 93-115, January.
    10. Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "Nobel Lecture: The Transformation of Macroeconomic Policy and Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 203-235, April.
    11. Chatterji, Pinka & Dave, Daval & Kaestner, Robert & Markowitz, Sara, 2004. "Alcohol abuse and suicide attempts among youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 159-180, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ludwig, Jens & Marcotte, Dave E. & Norberg, Karen, 2009. "Anti-depressants and suicide," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 659-676, May.
    2. Joe Chen & Yun Jeong Choi & Yasuyuki Sawada, 2008. "How Is Suicide Different in Japan?," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-557, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.

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