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Does state spending on mental health lower suicide rates?

Justin Ross (), Pavel Yakovlev () and Fatima Carson

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2012, vol. 41, issue 4, 408-417

Abstract: Using recently released data on public mental health expenditures by U.S. states from 1997 to 2005, this study is the first to examine the effect of state mental health spending on suicide rates. We find the effect of per capita public mental health expenditures on the suicide rate to be qualitatively small and lacking statistical significance. This finding holds across different estimation techniques, gender, and age groups. The estimates suggest that policies aimed at income growth, divorce prevention or support, and assistance to low income individuals could be more effective at suicide prevention than state mental health expenditures.

Keywords: Suicide mortality; Mental health; Public spending (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I18 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:4:p:408-417

DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2010.10.005

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