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Antidepressants and the Suicide Rate: Is There Really a Connection?

  • Dahlberg, Matz

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Lundin, Douglas

    ()

    (Läkemedelsförmånsnämnden)

Recent research claims that the major part of the observed reduction in suicide rates during the 1990’s can be explained by the increase in the prescription of antidepressants. This conclusion is however based on research that only looks at raw correlations; confounding effects from other variables are not controlled for. Using a rich data set, we reinvestigate the issue. After controlling for other covariates, observed as well as unobserved, that might affect the suicide rate, we find, overall, no statistically significant effects from antidepressants on the suicide rate; when we do get significant effects, they are positive for young persons. Regarding the latter result, more research is needed before any firm policy conclusion can be made.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2005:4.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2005_004
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. Jens Ludwig & Dave E. Marcotte, 2005. "Anti-depressants, suicide, and drug regulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 249-272.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  3. Hahn, Jinyong, 1997. "A Note on the Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Some Exponential Panel Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(04), pages 583-588, August.
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