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Investigating the Persistence of Suicide in the United States: Evidence from the Quantile Unit Root Test

Wen-Yi Chen (), Tsangyao Chang () and Yu-Hui Lin ()
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Wen-Yi Chen: National Taichung University of Science and Technology
Yu-Hui Lin: NanKai University of Technology

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2018, vol. 135, issue 2, 813-833

Abstract: Abstract While the subsequent persistence of suicide after an economic shock has received much attention among economists, no study has investigated the persistence of suicide through the concept of persistence in macroeconomic theory. This study employed the quantile structural breaks tests to identify possible structural changes in various suicide rates under the framework of the repeat cross-sectional quantile regression model in the US over the period from January 1999 to December 2013 for the first time. Together with the QAR-based unit root test, we found that positive shocks have significant impacts on various suicide rates, and the persistence of suicide was confirmed for all suicide rates in some pre-specified quantiles except for the suicide rate of the middle age (aged 35–54) group. Specifically, the persistence of suicide was identified in the lower quantiles for the overall suicide rate and the suicide rate of the middle-old age (aged 55–64) group. There exists persistence of suicide in the two tails of quantiles for the suicide rates of the young (aged 15–34) and the elderly (aged 65 and older) groups. The surveillance system established for suicide prevention should target the middle-old age (aged 55–64) group during economic downturn periods and target the young (aged 15–34) and the elderly (aged 65 or older) groups during periods from economic downturns to recessions.

Keywords: Persistence; Suicide; Quantile unit root; Quantile structural change (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 C22 I15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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