Year: 2021 Source: PLoS ONE. (2021). 16(5), e0252077. SIEC No: 20210499

The number of suicides has increased in the last decades in several developed countries. For instance, Spain has experienced a gradual but steady increase in suicides since the 80’s and it is currently the leading external cause of death in the country. At the same time, the dualisation of the labor market, with a strong and persistent incidence of temporary contracts, has increased the instability of employment conditions. Both developments have a stronger incidence for individuals with lower levels of education. Therefore, in this paper we use rich administrative data in order to estimate the impact of the wide spread use of temporary contracts on suicides. In order to do that we exploit a reform that liberalised the use of fix-term contracts in Spain in 1984. Our results show strong long-term effects of the reform, which increased the suicide mortality rate of affected cohorts (those entering the labor market just after the liberalisation) by at least 25.3%. We believe that this result has important policy implications and should be taken into account in the design of the national suicide prevention plans.