Year: 2013 Source: Journal of Econmic Surveys.(2012).26(2):271-306. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6419.2010.00645.x SIEC No: 20130010

In this paper, we review economic theories and empirical studies on the socio-economic aspects of suicide. Through our survey, we would like to emphasize the importance of studying suicide by employing a ÔrationalÕ approach that complements the medical perspective on suicide. We first introduce major economic theories of suicide and then present a summary of a variety of empirical studies from the socio-economic perspective. To shed light on the mixed empirical evidence, we employ a meta-regression method to investigate how the existing empirical results vary. We have identified a publication bias, not highlighted previously, in the existing literature with respect to several commonly employed socio-economic factors. Several characteristics of existing studies have been identified as influencing the qualitative outcome. We then discuss the recent developments in economic studies on suicide, on the basis of the authorsÕ ongoing project on suicide. In the concluding section, we point out some issues for further studies.

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