Suicide and economic uncertainty: New findings in a global setting
Er, S.T., Demir, E., & Sari, E.
This study extends the previous literature on the association between country-level economic uncertainty and suicide rate to 141 countries by introducing the World Uncertainty Index. We first examine the role of economic uncertainty on the suicide rates in a global setting for the period 2000–2019 and then analyze if the association varied across different income groups. Our primary findings suggest that a rise in economic uncertainty is related to an increased suicide rate. According to the estimates based on various income levels, higher economic uncertainty is associated with increased suicide risk in high-income countries. For middle- and low-income countries, we find no such impact. Overall, we conclude that contemporaneous and lagged economic uncertainty is a concern for the increased risk of suicide, especially in high-income countries. The results highlight the need for proactive suicide-prevention strategies in uncertain times.