Year: 2007 Source: San Francisco, CA: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, (April 2007). 43p. SIEC No: 20080485

This paper empirically assesses the theory of interpersonal income comparison using individual level data on American suicide deaths. Suicide is modeled as a choice variable, conditional on exogenous risk factors, reflecting an individual’s assessment of current & expected future utility. The analysis considers whether suicide risk is systematically related to the income of others, holding own income, & other individual fixed factors. Results show that, controlling for own income & individual characteristics, individual suicide risk rises with reference to group income. (58 refs.)