Year: 2008 Source: Konstanz, Germany: Thurgau Institute of Economics, University of Konstanz, (July 2008). 45p. SIEC No: 20110114

The question to what extent governance structure affects people’s well-being, here reflected in the decision to die by suicide, still remains largely unknown. This paper examines the effects of political institutions & governance structure on suicide using a balanced panel for 26 Swiss cantons over the period 1980-1988. Results indicate that stronger popular rights & more fiscal decentralization reduce suicide, while more local autonomy increases it. The effects are not strongly gender-specific. Evidence was found that the effect of direct legislation is partly transmitted through sub-federal budgets, but not through health sector spending exclusively. (112 refs.) JA

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