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Testing the hypothesis of the natural suicide rates: Further evidence from OECD data

  • Andrés, Antonio Rodríguez
  • Halicioglu, Ferda

This paper provides further evidence on the hypothesis of the natural rate of suicide using the time series data for 15 OECD countries over the period 1970-2004. This hypothesis suggests that the suicide rate of a society could never be zero even if both the economic and the social conditions were made ideal from the point of view of suicide (Yang and Lester, 1991). This research relates the suicide rates to harmonized unemployment and divorce rates to test the natural hypothesis statistically. We also address methodological flaws by earlier suicide studies by employing autoregressive-distributed lag (ARDL) approach to cointegration advocated by Pesaran et al. (2001). In majority of regression equations, the constant term was positive and statistically significant, indicating a non-zero natural suicide rate. In particular, we find evidence that at aggregate level, Turkey has the lowest (3.64) and Japan has the highest (13.98) natural rate of suicides. In terms of the male natural suicide rates, the United Kingdom ranks the lowest (4.73) and Belgium ranks the top (15.44). As for the female natural suicide rates, Japan takes the lead (16.76) and Italy has the lowest (5.60). The results are also compared and contrasted to each other with a view to drawing plausible policy conclusions.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (January)
Pages: 22-26

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:1-2:p:22-26
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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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. John Helliwell, 2007. "Well-Being and Social Capital: Does Suicide Pose a Puzzle?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 455-496, May.
  3. Bijou Yang & David Lester, 2009. "Is there a natural suicide rate?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 137-140.
  4. Paresh Kumar Narayan, 2005. "The saving and investment nexus for China: evidence from cointegration tests," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(17), pages 1979-1990.
  5. M. Bahmani-Oskooee & Gour Goswami, 2003. "A disaggregated approach to test the J-Curve phenomenon: Japan versus her major trading partners," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 102-113, March.
  6. Kremers, Jeroen J M & Ericsson, Neil R & Dolado, Juan J, 1992. "The Power of Cointegration Tests," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 325-48, August.
  7. Brenner, M. Harvey & Mooney, Anne, 1983. "Unemployment and health in the context of economic change," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(16), pages 1125-1138, January.
  8. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
  9. Mohsen Bahmani-Oskooee & Zohre Ardalani, 2006. "Exchange Rate Sensitivity of U.S. Trade Flows: Evidence from Industry Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 542-559, January.
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