Year: 1985 Source: Sociological Focus, v.18, no.1, (January 1985), p.29-36 SIEC No: 20021142

In a cross-section study of thirty-one countries, Steven Stack found an inverse relationship between several measures of strike activity and suicide rates. Strikes were hypothesized to decrease suicide by increasing integration by uniting the labor movement & increasing its partisan spirit. Stack’s model & an alternative one were estimated for the U.S. over the postwar period. No evidence was found of a negaitve association between strike activity & suicide. The authors suggest that the difference in the findings of these studies may reflect omitted variable bias in Stack’s original study or the fact that, unlike many foreign labor markets, the U.S. labor market is not highly politicized & strikes cannot serve a strong integrative function. They conclude that if the former is true, strike activity has no role in research on suicide, while if the latter is true, it may play a role in particular countries but not in the U.S. (15 refs)