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An economic interpretation of suicide cycles in Japan

Author

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  • Koo, Jahyeong
  • Cox, W. Michael

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Koo, Jahyeong & Cox, W. Michael, 2006. "An economic interpretation of suicide cycles in Japan," Working Papers 0603, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:0603
    Note: Published as: Koo, Jahyeong and W. Michael Cox (2008), "An Economic Interpretation of Suicide Cycles in Japan," Contemporary Economic Policy 26 (1): 162-174.
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/papers/2006/wp0603.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 2001. "Economic reform and mortality in the former Soviet Union: A study of the suicide epidemic in the 1990s," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 1007-1019, May.
    2. Platt, Stephen, 1984. "Unemployment and suicidal behaviour: A review of the literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 93-115, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 293-329, January.
    5. 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 1141-1187, December.
    6. 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.
    7. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Karen E. Norberg, 2001. "Explaining the Rise in Youth Suicide," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 219-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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..
    9. Dave E. Marcotte, 2003. "The Economics of Suicide, Revisited," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 628-643, January.
    10. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ludwig, Jens & Marcotte, Dave E. & Norberg, Karen, 2009. "Anti-depressants and suicide," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 659-676, May.
    2. Chen, Joe & Choi, Yun Jeong & Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2009. "How is suicide different in Japan?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 140-150, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Suicide; Human capital; Unemployment;

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