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The Different Impacts of Socio-economic Factors on Suicide between Males and Females

  • yamamura, eiji

The number of suicides in Japan has substantially increased during its low growth period. The main argument of Durkheim’s (1951) seminal work in the field of sociology is that suicide is under influences of not only individual traits but also of the society one belongs to. Recently it was found that the effect of socio-economic variables on suicide rates depends on gender. This paper attempts to examine the difference of socio-economic factors on suicide between males and females. I used the national panel data of Japan to investigate the determinants of suicide. Based on fixed-effects estimation, by which the year and prefecture-specific unobservable effects can be controlled for, the major findings are twofold. First, the social capital that enhances community integration had a greater effect upon the suicide of females than that of males. This is probably because females are less likely to have full-time jobs and thus have more spare time, leading them to seek social involvement in their neighborhoods and participate in community activities. Second, divorce causes the propensity to commit suicide among males to become about two times higher than that among females due to the compensation costs that males are more likely to pay to females.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/10175/1/MPRA_paper_10175.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10175.

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Date of creation: 06 Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10175
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  1. 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.
  2. Yang, Bijou & Stack, Steven & Lester, David, 1992. "Suicide and unemployment: Predicting the smoothed trend and yearly fluctuations," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 39-41.
  3. Jungeilges, Jochen & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2002. "Economic welfare, civil liberty, and suicide: an empirical investigation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 215-231.
  4. Eiji Yamamura, 2008. "Diffusion of home computers and social networks: a study using Japanese panel data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(15), pages 1231-1235.
  5. Dave E. Marcotte, 2003. "The Economics of Suicide, Revisited," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 628-643, January.
  6. Matti Viren, 1996. "Suicide and business cycles: Finnish evidence," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(11), pages 737-738.
  7. 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..
  8. Chuanc, Hwei-Lin & Huang, Wei-Chiao, 1997. "Economic and social correlates of regional suicide rates: A pooled cross-section and time-series analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 277-289.
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