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Does unemployment increase suicide rates? The OECD panel evidence

Authors
Disciplines
  • Economics

Abstract

Previous studies of whether unemployment increases suicide rates give mixed results. None of them controlled for an interaction between unemployment and income. This paper tests the hypothesis whether the relationship between unemployment rates and suicide rates vary according to the level of real per capita GDP. We use the cross-country panel fixed effects approach to exclude cross-sectional variations but exploit time-series ones. We support that higher income is associated with higher suicide rates. In particular, the evidence shows that the implied effect of unemployment on suicide rates is positive for countries with higher income. Actually, for countries with lower-income levels, there is a negative impact of unemployment on suicides.

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