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Economic Modelling Of Suicide Under Income Uncertainty: For Better Understanding Of Middle-Aged Suicide

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  • TOMOYA SUZUKI

Abstract

This paper formalises an individual's decision about suicide within a framework of lifetime utility maximisation models. This is in line with the literature on economic modelling of suicide. The novelty of the paper is to take into account income uncertainty. Income uncertainty reduces a risk-averse individual's expected utility, making them more likely to commit suicide. On the other hand, income uncertainty creates a value to postponing suicide even when their income gets sufficiently low. This is because income uncertainty means that if things go well, they will get higher income in the future. Thus, income uncertainty has two opposite effects on suicidal behaviour. The main objective of this paper is to construct an economic model of suicide for investigating net impacts of income uncertainty on suicidal behaviour. For this purpose, it is assumed that the wage evolves according to a stochastic process. Then, the threshold wage, below which an individual commits suicide, is derived as a function of the parameters of the stochastic process assumed for the wage evolution. Impacts of changes in these parameters on the threshold wage are calculated. With the result, the paper shows how income uncertainty affects suicidal behaviour. Copyright 2008 The Author. Journal compilation 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

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  • Tomoya Suzuki, 2008. "Economic Modelling Of Suicide Under Income Uncertainty: For Better Understanding Of Middle-Aged Suicide ," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 296-310, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecp:v:47:y:2008:i:3:p:296-310
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    Cited by:

    1. Pandey, Manoj K. & Kaur, Charanjit, 2009. "Investigating suicidal trend and its economic determinants: evidence from India," MPRA Paper 15732, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Wu, Wen-Chieh & Cheng, Hui-Pei, 2010. "Symmetric mortality and asymmetric suicide cycles," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 1974-1981, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Joe Chen & Yun Jeong Choi & Kohta Mori & Yasuyuki Sawada & Saki Sugano, 2012. "Socio‐Economic Studies On Suicide: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 271-306, April.
    5. Tomoya Suzuki, 2015. "A Finite-Time-Horizon Model of Suicide When a Person's Income is at Risk: A Research Note," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 43-51, March.
    6. Tomoya Suzuki, 2015. "How will a risk of income fluctuations influence the suicidal decision making? Insights from a three-period model of suicide," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(2), pages 331-343, December.
    7. Andrés, Antonio R. & Halicioglu, Ferda & Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Socio-economic determinants of suicide in Japan," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 723-731.
    8. Altinanahtar, Alper & Halicioglu, Ferda, 2009. "A Dynamic Econometric Study of Suicides in Turkey," MPRA Paper 15568, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Altinanahtar, Alper & Halicioglu, Ferda, 2009. "A dynamic econometric model of suicides in Turkey," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 903-907, December.

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