A study of suicide and socioeconomic factors

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2009 Apr;39(2):214-26. doi: 10.1521/suli.2009.39.2.214.


The topic of suicide has long been an important socioeconomic issue studied in many countries. Suicides inject an atmosphere of unrest into society, and media attention furthers that social uneasiness. From the viewpoint of economics and management, suicide is a waste of human resource: it decreases the labor force in society and deteriorates human capital. This paper provides a series of analyses of suicide rate based on theoretical reasoning and empirical approaches. Aggregate data from G7 countries are obtained and stacked into panel data for analysis. Data are collected for different age groups. Even though suicide issues have been extensively discussed in the past, newly developed econometric tools are applied to her. Beyond previously recognized relationships between economic factors and suicide rates findings include that unemployment strikes men more than women in terms of psychological pressure: for middle age or older women, unemployment may even be positive for the entire family; and female labor force participation exerts pressure on male counterparts and increases its suicide rate. As a result, a low income family with an unemployed man and an employed woman is at high risk for adult male suicide.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Econometric
  • North America
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Suicide / economics
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult