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Is Economic Policy Uncertainty Related to Suicide Rates? Evidence from the United States

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  • Nikolaos Antonakakis

    () (University of Portsmouth, Webster Vienna Private University and Johannes Kepler University)

  • Rangan Gupta

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

Abstract

While it has long been recognised that periods of economic uncertainty, characterised by increased unemployment and lower economic activity, are associated with increased suicide rates, no study has examined the direct impact of policy-related economic uncertainty on suicide mortality. The aim of this study is to provide the first systematic evidence of a relationship between economic policy uncertainty and suicide mortality in the United states over the period 1950-2013, while controlling for several other socioeconomic determinants of suicide mortality. The results of the analysis reveal that increased economic policy uncertainty is associated with increased suicide mortality of the youngest and the oldest segments of the male population in the United States, while the female population is found to be resilient to policy-related economic uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolaos Antonakakis & Rangan Gupta, 2015. "Is Economic Policy Uncertainty Related to Suicide Rates? Evidence from the United States," Working Papers 201573, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:201573
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    Keywords

    United States; Economic policy uncertainty; suicide;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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