Antonakakis, N. & Collins, A. (2015) “The impact of fiscal austerity on suicide: On the empirics of a modern Greek tragedy“, Social Science and Medicine Journal, Volume 112, Ιούλιος 2014, σσ. 39-50.
- We examine the effects of fiscal austerity on suicide in Greece over the period 1968–2011.
- The effects of fiscal austerity and economic growth are gender- and age-specific.
- Fiscal austerity affects only the male population, and those between 45 and 89 years old.
- Remittances have suicide-reducing effects on the youth and female population.
- Results have important implications for policy makers and national health agencies.
Suicide rates in Greece (and other European countries) have been on a remarkable upward trend following the global recession of 2008 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2009. However, recent investigations of the impact on Greek suicide rates from the 2008 financial crisis have restricted themselves to simple descriptive or correlation analyses. Controlling for various socio–economic effects, this study presents a statistically robust model to explain the influence on realised suicidality of the application of fiscal austerity measures and variations in macroeconomic performance over the period 1968–2011. The responsiveness of suicide to levels of fiscal austerity is established as a means of providing policy guidance on the extent of suicide behaviour associated with different fiscal austerity measures. The results suggest (i) significant age and gender specificity in these effects on suicide rates and that (ii) remittances have suicide-reducing effects on the youth and female population. These empirical regularities potentially offer some guidance on the demographic targeting of suicide prevention measures and the case for ‘economic’ migration.
Greece; Fiscal austerity; Suicide; Unemployment; Debt crisis; Migration
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