The happiness - suicide paradox
AbstractSuicide is an important scientific phenomenon. Yet its causes remain poorly understood. This study documents a paradox: the happiest places have the highest suicide rates. The study combines findings from two large and rich individual-level data sets—one on life satisfaction and another on suicide deaths—to establish the paradox in a consistent way across U.S. states. It replicates the finding in data on Western industrialized nations and checks that the paradox is not an artifact of population composition or confounding factors. The study concludes with the conjecture that people may find it particularly painful to be unhappy in a happy place, so that the decision to commit suicide is influenced by relative comparisons.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2010-30.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2010-11-20 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-LTV-2010-11-20 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007.
"Hypertension and Happiness across Nations,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
828, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," NBER Working Papers 12934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 2633, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 792, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Suicide in happy places
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-12-24 15:04:00
- The Happinessâ??Suicide Paradox
by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-11-28 12:00:21
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