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Does state spending on mental health lower suicide rates?

Author

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  • Ross, Justin M.
  • Yakovlev, Pavel A.
  • Carson, Fatima

Abstract

Using recently released data on public mental health expenditures by U.S. states from 1997 to 2005, this study is the first to examine the effect of state mental health spending on suicide rates. We find the effect of per capita public mental health expenditures on the suicide rate to be qualitatively small and lacking statistical significance. This finding holds across different estimation techniques, gender, and age groups. The estimates suggest that policies aimed at income growth, divorce prevention or support, and assistance to low income individuals could be more effective at suicide prevention than state mental health expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Ross, Justin M. & Yakovlev, Pavel A. & Carson, Fatima, 2012. "Does state spending on mental health lower suicide rates?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 408-417.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:4:p:408-417
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2010.10.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Okada, Keisuke & Samreth, Sovannroeun, 2013. "A study on the socio-economic determinants of suicide: Evidence from 13 European OECD countries," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 78-85.
    2. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1437-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Yoon, Jangho & Luck, Jeff, 2016. "Intersystem return on investment in public mental health: Positive externality of public mental health expenditure for the jail system in the U.S," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 133-142.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Suicide mortality; Mental health; Public spending;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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