Working papers, Department of Economics, WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien)
Does Fiscal Consolidation Really Get You Down? Evidence from Suicide Mortality
(), Nikolaos Antonakakis
() and Alan Collins
Abstract: While linkages between some macroeconomic phenomena (e.g.
unemployment, GDP growth) and suicide rates in some countries have been
explored, only one study, hitherto, has established a causal relationship
between fiscal consolidation and suicide, albeit in a single country. This
study examines the impact of budget consolidation on suicide mortality
across all Eurozone peripheral economies, while controlling for various
economic and sociodemographic differences. The impact of fiscal adjustments
is found to be gender, age and time specific. In particular, fiscal
consolidation has short-, medium- and long-run suicide increasing effects
on the male population between 65 and 89 years of age. A one percentage
point reduction in government spending is associated with an 1.39%, 2.35%
and 2.64% increase in the short-, medium- and long-run, respectively, of
male suicides rates between 65 and 89 years of age in the Eurozone
periphery. These results are highly robust to alternative measures of
fiscal consolidation. Unemployment benefits and substantial employment
protection legislation seem to mitigate some of the negative effects of
fiscal consolidation on suicide mortality. Plausible explanations for these
impacts are provided and policy implications drawn.
Keywords: Fiscal consolidation, Suicide, Eurozone periphery, Government policy, Labour market institutions; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: H30,; H51,; H55,; H62,; I18,; I31,; J18,; C33; (follow links to similar papers)
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