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Income Inequality and Suicide: Evidence from Eastern European Countries
  • Antonio Rodriguez Andres,
  • Mohamed M Mostafa
Antonio Rodriguez Andres
German University in Cairo

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Mohamed M Mostafa
Gulf University for Science and Technology
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Abstract

As one of the leading causes of non-natural death, suicide involves both emotional and economic costs to society. In this paper, we aim to analyze the economic determinants of suicide. More specifically, we explore the impact of income inequality on suicide. For that purpose, we estimate linear panel data models for a set of 21 Eastern European countries over the period 1991-2014. We find a positive relationship between income inequality and suicide for males as an increase in inequality was found to increase suicide. For females, income inequality has no effect. We also found that the effect of GDP per capita on suicide rates is negative and statistically significant across all models. The direction of this effect is consistent with previous international panel data studies and the economic theory of suicide. Taken together, our results are in line with previous literature investigating the economic determinants of suicide. The paper contributes to a burgeoning trend in the literature examining what drives people to commit suicide.