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People on the verge of death: evidence from impacts of celebrity suicides

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  • Sok Chul Hong
  • Jungmin Lee

Abstract

We attempt to identify the population who are vulnerable to emotional shocks by exploiting an unprecedented series of celebrity suicides in South Korea during the last decade, including one of the most famous actresses, as well as a former president. Our conservative estimates show that for 5 out of 11 celebrity suicides observed, 1 celebrity suicide on average yielded to more than 10 excessive suicides per day over a time frame of at least 2 weeks. The results indicate that a significant number of people are very much mentally unstable to end their life by emotional shocks that should be irrelevant to their economic status.

Suggested Citation

  • Sok Chul Hong & Jungmin Lee, 2015. "People on the verge of death: evidence from impacts of celebrity suicides," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(7), pages 710-724, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:47:y:2015:i:7:p:710-724
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2014.980571
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card & Gordon B. Dahl, 2011. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 103-143.
    2. Chen, Joe & Choi, Yun Jeong & Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2010. "Joint liability borrowing and suicide: The case of Japan," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 69-71, November.
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    4. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Soss, Neal M, 1974. "An Economic Theory of Suicide," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 83-98, Jan.-Feb..
    5. Vijay K. Mathur & Donald G. Freeman, 2002. "A theoretical model of adolescent suicide and some evidence from US data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(8), pages 695-708.
    6. Timothy J. Classen & Richard A. Dunn, 2012. "The effect of job loss and unemployment duration on suicide risk in the United States: a new look using mass‐layoffs and unemployment duration," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 338-350, March.
    7. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carla Blázquez-Fernández & David Cantarero-Prieto & Marta Pascual-Sáez, 2017. "What Does It Drive the Relationship Between Suicides and Economic Conditions? New Evidence from Spain," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 1087-1099, February.

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