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Fiscal Austerity, Unemployment and Suicide Rates in Greece

Antonakakis, Nikolaos (2013): Fiscal Austerity, Unemployment and Suicide Rates in Greece.

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Abstract

This study examines the effects of fiscal austerity, among other socioeconomic variables, on suicide rates in Greece over the period 1968-2011. Our results suggest that fiscal austerity, higher unemployment rates, negative economic growth and reduced fertility rates, significantly increase suicide rates in Greece, while increased alcohol consumption and divorce rates do not exert any significant influence on suicide rates. Interestingly, the effects of fiscal austerity and economic growth are gender-specific, as fiscal austerity measures and negative economic growth significantly increase male suicide rates, while no significantly effects of fiscal austerity and negative economic growth on female suicide rates could be identified. Finally, the effects of fiscal austerity on suicide rate are also age-specific, affecting mostly the population between the ages of 45 and 89 years. These results have important implications for policy makers, and for the creation and implementation of specialised suicide prevention programs in Greece by national health agencies.

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