Do Stock Market Fluctuations Affect Suicide Rates?

Wisniewski, Tomasz Piotr; Lambe, Brendan John and Shrestha, Keshab (2020). Do Stock Market Fluctuations Affect Suicide Rates? Journal of Financial Research (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jfir.12224

Abstract

In this study, we extend the standard economic model of suicide by considering a new influential factor driving the voluntary death rate. Using an international sample, we estimate the model and document a robust and significant inverse relationship between stock market returns and the percentage increase in suicide rates. Trends in male and female suicide are affected by market fluctuations, both contemporaneously and at a lag. This predictive quality of stock returns offers the potential to implement pro-active suicide prevention strategies for those who could be affected by the vagaries of the market and general economic downturns.

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