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

Health Econ. 2015 Aug;24(8):936-50. doi: 10.1002/hec.3073. Epub 2014 Jun 17.


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.

Keywords: panel data; suicide; unemployment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Economic Recession
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Guanosine Diphosphate
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Econometric
  • Mortality*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sex Distribution
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Weather


  • Guanosine Diphosphate