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The Jump, Inertia, and Juvenization of Suicides in Japan

Listed author(s):
  • Joe Chen

    (National Chengchi University)

  • Yun Jeong Choi

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • Kohta Mori

    (Department of Economics, Yale University)

  • Yasuyuki Sawada

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • Saki Sugano

    (Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo)

This article investigates the abrupt jump in the number of suicide cases in Japan in 1998 and the subsequent persistency of this figure by utilizing a generalized decomposition formula. In particular, by considering the change in the demographic structure, we decompose the 1998 jump in the number of suicides and the cumulative changes from 1998 to 2007 by age and gender. Our results show that while the abrupt jump in the number of suicides in 1998 is mainly attributed to middleaged males, who are 40 to 59 years old, the consistently high number of suicides after 1998 is because of the suicides of people from the younger generation, i.e., the age group from 20 to 39 years. This "juvenization" in suicides is also reflected by the change in the means for committing suicide. Finally, aging is also identified as an impediment in combating the high suicide numbers.

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Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE F-Series with number CIRJE-F-628.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2009cf628
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  1. Jan Oosterhaven & Jan Van Der Linden, 1997. "European Technology, Trade and Income Changes for 1975-85: An Intercountry Input-Output Decomposition," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 393-412.
  2. Erik Dietzenbacher & Bart Los, 1998. "Structural Decomposition Techniques: Sense and Sensitivity," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 307-324.
  3. Young Kim & Donna Strobino, 1984. "Decomposition of the difference between two rates with hierarchical factors," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 21(3), pages 361-372, August.
  4. Prithwis Gupta, 1978. "A general method of decomposing a difference between two rates into several components," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 15(1), pages 99-112, February.
  5. Evgueni M. Andreev & Vladimir M. Shkolnikov & Alexander Z. Begun, 2002. "Algorithm for decomposition of differences between aggregate demographic measures and its application to life expectancies, Gini coefficients, health expectancies, parity-progression ratios and total ," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-035, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  6. 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..
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