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Analysis of the Socioeconomic Difficulties Affecting the Suicide Rate in Japan

Author

Listed:
  • Ryoichi Watanabe

    () (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)

  • Masakazu Furukawa

    (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University)

  • Ryota Nakamura

    (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University)

  • Yoshiaki Ogura

    (Hitotsubashi Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the drastic increase observed in the Japanese male suicide rate in the late 1990s and early 2000s and confirms unemployment and personal bankruptcy to be the associated socioeconomic factors behind the male suicide variation. Personal bankruptcy is also confirmed to be significant in the female suicide variation. The relationship is confirmed through a pooled data analysis by a middle-aged group and by prefecture. Further, the paper focused on the association between the unemployment rate and suicide mortality by incorporating the reasons for unemployment in the monthly regression. Next, we identified a significant association between male suicide variations and changes in some of the reasons for being unemployed. The interpretation of the results implies that the risk of unemployment among men has been mitigated by the unemployment insurance rather than the bias in the reasons reported and/or mental disorder in Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • Ryoichi Watanabe & Masakazu Furukawa & Ryota Nakamura & Yoshiaki Ogura, 2006. "Analysis of the Socioeconomic Difficulties Affecting the Suicide Rate in Japan," KIER Working Papers 626, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:626
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    File URL: http://www.kier.kyoto-u.ac.jp/DP/DP626.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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..
    2. Agerbo, E. & Eriksson, T. & Mortensen, P.B. & Westergard-Nielsen, N., 1998. "Unemployment and Mental Disorder - An Empirical Analysis," Papers 98-02, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pandey, Manoj K. & Kaur, Charanjit, 2009. "Investigating suicidal trend and its economic determinants: evidence from India," MPRA Paper 15732, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    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.
    3. Joe Chen & Yun Jeong Choi & Yasuyuki Sawada, 2007. "Joint Liability Borrowing and Suicide," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-534, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    4. 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.
    5. Kuroki, Masanori, 2010. "Suicide and unemployment in Japan: Evidence from municipal level suicide rates and age-specific suicide rates," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 683-691, December.
    6. Eiji Yamamura, 2010. "The different impacts of socio-economic factors on suicide between males and females," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(10), pages 1009-1012.
    7. Andrés, Antonio R. & Halicioglu, Ferda & Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Socio-economic determinants of suicide in Japan," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 723-731.
    8. Manoj K. Pandey & Charanjit Kaur, 2009. "Investigating Suicidal Trend and its Economic Determinants: Evidence from India," ASARC Working Papers 2009-08, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.

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