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Antidepressants and the Suicide Rate: Is There Really a Connection?

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Author Info

  • Dahlberg, Matz

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Lundin, Douglas

    ()
    (Läkemedelsförmånsnämnden)

Abstract

Recent research claims that the major part of the observed reduction in suicide rates during the 1990’s can be explained by the increase in the prescription of antidepressants. This conclusion is however based on research that only looks at raw correlations; confounding effects from other variables are not controlled for. Using a rich data set, we reinvestigate the issue. After controlling for other covariates, observed as well as unobserved, that might affect the suicide rate, we find, overall, no statistically significant effects from antidepressants on the suicide rate; when we do get significant effects, they are positive for young persons. Regarding the latter result, more research is needed before any firm policy conclusion can be made.

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File URL: http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:665204/FULLTEXT01.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2005:4.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2005_004

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Email:
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Suicide; antidepressants; Poisson fixed effects;

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References

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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hahn, Jinyong, 1997. "A Note on the Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Some Exponential Panel Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(04), pages 583-588, August.
  3. Jens Ludwig & Dave E. Marcotte, 2005. "Anti-depressants, suicide, and drug regulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 249-272.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jens Ludwig & Dave E. Marcotte, 2005. "Anti-depressants, suicide, and drug regulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 249-272.
  2. Alison Cuellar & Sara Markowitz, 2006. "Medicaid Policy Changes in Mental Health Care and Their Effect on Mental Health Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jens Ludwig & Dave E. Marcotte & Karen Norberg, 2007. "Anti-depressants and Suicide," NBER Working Papers 12906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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