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The impact of fiscal austerity on suicide: on the empirics of a modern Greek tragedy

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Suicide rates in Greece (and other European countries) have been on a remarkable upward trend following the global recession of 2008 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2009. However, recent investigations of the impact on Greek suicide rates from the 2008 financial crisis have restricted themselves to simple descriptive or correlation analyses. Controlling for various socioeeconomic effects, this study presents a statistically robust model to explain the influence on realised suicidality of the application of fiscal austerity measures and variations in macroeconomic performance over the period 1968e2011. The responsiveness of suicide to levels of fiscal austerity is established as a means of providing policy guidance on the extent of suicide behaviour associated with different fiscal austerity measures. The results suggest (i) significant age and gender specificity in these effects on suicide rates and that (ii) remittances have suicide-reducing effects on the youth and female population. These empirical regularities potentially offer some guidance on the demographic targeting of suicide prevention measures and the case for ‘economic’ migration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-50
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


  • ANTONAKAKIS_2014_cright_SSM_The impact of fiscal austerity on suicide

    Rights statement: “NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Social science & medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Social sciences & medicine, 122, 1 July 2014, 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.04.019.¨

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 392 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-SA

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