Year: 2020 Source: Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting, (July 2020: Kansas City, MO), p.1-60. SIEC No: 20200697

Farming has an elevated rate of suicide in the U.S. and elsewhere. This study explores a number of hypotheses as to causal factors explaining the high farmer suicide rate, including climate change (e.g., extreme temperatures, variable precipitation) and economic factors, such as price and income volatility. The CDC nonpublic vital statistic data is utilized on the Poisson model to estimate the marginal effect of weather on farmer suicides. Empirical analysis shows extreme heat is positively associated with farmer suicides. There is no statistically significant evidence on the relationship between precipitation and farmer suicides, especially in non-irrigated counties. Better understanding of the factors contributing to farmer suicides could greatly improve the effectiveness of suicide prevention.