IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dahlberg, Matz & Lundin, Douglas, 2005. "Antidepressants and the Suicide Rate: Is There Really a Connection?," Working Paper Series 2005:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2005_004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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. Cuellar, Alison Evans & Markowitz, Sara, 2007. "Medicaid policy changes in mental health care and their effect on mental health outcomes," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 23-49, January.
    3. 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.

    More about this item


    Suicide; antidepressants; Poisson fixed effects;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2005_004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Katarina Grönvall). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.