How is suicide different in Japan?

Joe Chen, Yun Jeong Choi, Yasuyuki Sawada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates suicide rates among OECD countries, with particular effort made to gain insight into how suicide in Japan is different from suicides in other OECD countries. Several findings emerged from fixed-effect panel regressions with country-specific time-trends. First, the impacts of socioeconomic variables vary across different gender-age groups. Second, in general, better economic conditions such as high levels of income and higher economic growth were found to reduce the suicide rate, while income inequality increases the suicide rate. Third, the suicide rate is more sensitive to economic factors captured by real GDP per capita, growth rate of real GDP per capita, and the Gini index than to social factors represented by divorce rate, birth rate, female labor force participation rate, and alcohol consumption. Fourth, female and elderly suicides are more difficult to be accounted for. Finally, in accordance with general beliefs, Japan's suicide problem is very different from those of other OECD countries. The impact of the socioeconomic variables on suicide is greater in Japan than in other OECD countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-150
Number of pages11
JournalJapan and the World Economy
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations

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