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Working Paper
Relative status and well-being: evidence from U.S. suicide deaths

We assess the importance of interpersonal income comparisons using data on suicide deaths. We examine whether suicide risk is related to others? income, holding own income and other individual and environmental factors fixed. We estimate models of the suicide hazard using two independent data sets: (1) the National Longitudinal Mortality Study and (2) the National Center for Health Statistics? Multiple Cause of Death Files combined with the 5 percent Public Use Micro Sample of the 1990 decennial census. Results from both data sources show that, controlling for own income and individual ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2012-16

Working Paper
Happiness, unhappiness, and suicide: an empirical assessment

The use of subjective well-being (SWB) data for investigating the nature of individual preferences has increased tremendously in recent years. There has been much debate about the cross-sectional and time series patterns found in these data, particularly with respect to the relationship between SWB and relative status. Part of this debate concerns how well SWB data measures true utility or preferences. In a recent paper, Daly, Wilson, and Johnson (2007) propose using data on suicide as a revealed preference (outcome-based) measure of well-being and find strong evidence that reference-group ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2008-19

Working Paper
Relative status and well-being: evidence from U.S. suicide deaths

This paper empirically assesses the theory of interpersonal income comparison using individual level data on suicide deaths in the United States. We model suicide as a choice variable, conditional on exogenous risk factors, reflecting an individual's assessment of current and expected future utility. Our empirical analysis considers whether suicide risk is systematically related to the income of others, holding own income and other individual factors fixed. We estimate proportional hazards and probit models of the suicide hazard using two separate and independent data sets: (1) the National ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2007-12

Working Paper
The happiness - suicide paradox

Suicide is an important scientific phenomenon. Yet its causes remain poorly understood. This study documents a paradox: the happiest places have the highest suicide rates. The study combines findings from two large and rich individual-level data sets?one on life satisfaction and another on suicide deaths?to establish the paradox in a consistent way across U.S. states. It replicates the finding in data on Western industrialized nations and checks that the paradox is not an artifact of population composition or confounding factors. The study concludes with the conjecture that people may find it ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2010-30

Working Paper
An economic interpretation of suicide cycles in Japan

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 ...
Working Papers , Paper 0603



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Daly, Mary C. 4 items

Wilson, Daniel J. 4 items

Johnson, Norman J. 2 items

Cox, W. Michael 1 items

Koo, Jahyeong 1 items

Oswald, Andrew J. 1 items

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