Unemployment and Suicide Mortality: Evidence from Regional Panel Data in Europe

Authors

  • Christian Breuer

    Corresponding author
    1. Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, Munich, Germany
    • Correspondence to: Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, Poschinger Str. 5, 81679, Munich, Germany.

      E-mail: breuer@ifo.de

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Abstract

This paper addresses the influence of economic activity on suicide mortality in Europe. To this end, it employs a new panel data set of 275 regions in 29 countries over the period 1999–2010. The results suggest that unemployment does have a significantly positive influence on suicides. In line with economic theory, this influence varies among gender and age groups. Men of working age are particularly sensitive, while old-age suicide mortality (older than 65 years old) hardly responds to unemployment. Moreover, real economic growth negatively affects the suicide rates of working-age men. The results withstand several robustness checks, such as sample variations, and after controlling for serial and spatial autocorrelation. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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