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Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Working Papers
An economic interpretation of suicide cycles in Japan
Jahyeong Koo
W. Michael Cox

Suicide rates in Japan have increased dramatically in recent years, making. Japan’s male rate the highest among developed economies. This study revises the standard economic model of suicide to accommodate Japan’s experience, focusing on the change in human capital for the unemployed. We then use the new model and de-trended data to empirically investigate the relationship between the suicide cycle and the unemployment cycle. Unlike previous aggregate time series studies, we find that the relationship between the suicide rate and the unemployment rate is significantly and robustly positive for both males and females even after controlling for several social variables.

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Jahyeong Koo & W. Michael Cox, An economic interpretation of suicide cycles in Japan, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Working Papers 0603, 2006.
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Note: Published as: Koo, Jahyeong and W. Michael Cox (2008), "An Economic Interpretation of Suicide Cycles in Japan," Contemporary Economic Policy 26 (1): 162-174.
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Keywords: Suicide; Human capital; Unemployment
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