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An economic interpretation of suicide cycles in Japan

  • Jahyeong Koo
  • W. Michael Cox
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    Suicide rates in Japan have increased dramatically in recent years, making. Japan’s male rate the highest among developed economies. This study revises the standard economic model of suicide to accommodate Japan’s experience, focusing on the change in human capital for the unemployed. We then use the new model and de-trended data to empirically investigate the relationship between the suicide cycle and the unemployment cycle. Unlike previous aggregate time series studies, we find that the relationship between the suicide rate and the unemployment rate is significantly and robustly positive for both males and females even after controlling for several social variables.

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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/papers/2006/wp0603.pdf
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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 0603.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:0603
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dallasfed.org/
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    1. Chatterji, Pinka & Dave, Daval & Kaestner, Robert & Markowitz, Sara, 2004. "Alcohol abuse and suicide attempts among youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 159-180, June.
    2. Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "Nobel Lecture: The Transformation of Macroeconomic Policy and Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 203-235, April.
    3. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
    4. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 2001. "Economic Reform and Mortality in the Former Soviet Union: A Study of the Suicide Epidemic in the 1990s," IZA Discussion Papers 243, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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..
    6. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Karen E. Norberg, 2001. "Explaining the Rise in Youth Suicide," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1917, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
    8. Platt, Stephen, 1984. "Unemployment and suicidal behaviour: A review of the literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 93-115, January.
    9. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2003. "A note on the effect of unemployment on mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 505-518, May.
    10. Weiss, Y. & Willis, R.J., 1995. "Match Quality, New Information and Marital Dissolution," Papers 33-95, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    11. Dave E. Marcotte, 2003. "The Economics of Suicide, Revisited," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 628-643, January.
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