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The Relationship between Suicidal Behavior and Productive Activities of Young Adults

Erdal Tekin () and Sara Markowitz ()

Southern Economic Journal, 2008, vol. 75, issue 2, 300-331

Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of the link between suicidal behaviors and human capital formation of young adults in the United States. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we estimate the effects of suicide thoughts and attempts on the probability of engaging in work or attending school. The richness of the data set allows us to implement several strategies to control for unobserved heterogeneity and the potential reverse causality. These strategies include using a large set of control variables that are likely to be correlated with both suicidal behavior and the outcome measures, an instrumental variables method, and fixed effects analyses from the subsamples of twin and sibling pairs. Results from the different identification strategies consistently indicate that both suicide thoughts and suicide attempts decrease the likelihood that a young adult individual engages in work or schooling.

JEL-codes: I1 J2 J3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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