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Fiscal Austerity, Unemployment and Suicide Rates in Greece


  • Antonakakis, Nikolaos


This study examines the effects of fiscal austerity, among other socioeconomic variables, on suicide rates in Greece over the period 1968-2011. Our results suggest that fiscal austerity, higher unemployment rates, negative economic growth and reduced fertility rates, significantly increase suicide rates in Greece, while increased alcohol consumption and divorce rates do not exert any significant influence on suicide rates. Interestingly, the effects of fiscal austerity and economic growth are gender-specific, as fiscal austerity measures and negative economic growth significantly increase male suicide rates, while no significantly effects of fiscal austerity and negative economic growth on female suicide rates could be identified. Finally, the effects of fiscal austerity on suicide rate are also age-specific, affecting mostly the population between the ages of 45 and 89 years. These results have important implications for policy makers, and for the creation and implementation of specialised suicide prevention programs in Greece by national health agencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonakakis, Nikolaos, 2013. "Fiscal Austerity, Unemployment and Suicide Rates in Greece," MPRA Paper 45198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:45198

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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..
    4. John Bluedorn & Daniel Leigh, 2011. "Revisiting the Twin Deficits Hypothesis: The Effect of Fiscal Consolidation on the Current Account," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(4), pages 582-602, November.
    5. Daniel Leigh & Andrea Pescatori & Jaime Guajardo, 2011. "Expansionary Austerity New International Evidence," IMF Working Papers 11/158, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
    7. Beetsma, Roel & Giuliodori, Massimo & Hanson, Jesper, 2012. "Budgetary consolidation under different exchange rate regimes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 912-916.
    8. Matsubayashi, Tetsuya & Ueda, Michiko, 2011. "The effect of national suicide prevention programs on suicide rates in 21 OECD nations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(9), pages 1395-1400.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. So zerstört man den Euro
      by Ekkehart Schlicht in Funktionale Staatsfinanzen on 2013-04-16 19:34:00
    2. Warum Staatsverschuldung expansiv wirkt, insbesondere auch langfristig
      by Ekkehart Schlicht in Funktionale Staatsfinanzen on 2013-04-19 15:05:00
    3. Warum Staatsverschuldung expansiv wirkt, insbesondere auch langfristig
      by Ekkehart Schlicht in Funktionale Staatsfinanzen on 2013-04-19 19:26:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Breuer, 2015. "Unemployment and Suicide Mortality: Evidence from Regional Panel Data in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(8), pages 936-950, August.
    2. Berta Rivera & Bruno Casal & Luis Currais, 2015. "The economic crisis and death by suicide in Spain: Empirical evidence based on a data panel and the quantification of losses in labour productivity," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1507, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    3. Berta Rivera & Bruno Casal & Luis Currais, 2017. "Crisis, suicide and labour productivity losses in Spain," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(1), pages 83-96, January.

    More about this item


    Fiscal austerity; suicide rate; unemployment; debt crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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