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Are socioeconomic factors valid determinants of suicide? Controlling for national cultures of suicide with fixed-effects estimation

Neumayer, Eric ORCID: 0000-0003-2719-7563 (2003) Are socioeconomic factors valid determinants of suicide? Controlling for national cultures of suicide with fixed-effects estimation. Cross-Cultural Research, 37 (3). pp. 307-329. ISSN 1552-3578

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1069397103253708


National cultures of suicide, that is culturally shared attitudes that are either supportive or restrictive towards the act of committing suicide, have found renewed interest in the recent literature on variation in suicide rates. Fixed effects, our panel data estimation technique, controls more elegantly and comprehensively for national cultures of suicide than other approaches. We use a range of economic and social explanatory variables based on economic as well as Durkheimian sociological theory in fixed-effects and ran-dom-effects estimation of age-standardized suicide rates in a large panel of up to 68 countries over the period 1980 to 1999. We find that economic and social factors impact upon cross-country differences in suicide rates in accordance with theory. Importantly, we find that the fixed-effects estimation results do not differ systematically from the random-effects results. This suggests that the vast majority of the existing literature, which typically fails to control for national cultures of suicide and suggests socio-economic factors as important determinants of suicide, can still be expected to come to valid results.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: Published 2003 © SAGE Publications. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (<>) of the LSE Research Online website.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 23 May 2006
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2024 05:45

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