Social Indicators Research

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 543–560 | Cite as

Is Economic Policy Uncertainty Related to Suicide Rates? Evidence from the United States

  • Nikolaos Antonakakis
  • Rangan Gupta


While it has long been recognised that periods of economic uncertainty, characterised by increased unemployment and lower economic activity, are associated with increased suicide rates, no study has examined the impact of policy-related economic uncertainty on suicide mortality. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between economic policy uncertainty and suicide mortality in the United States over the period 1950–2013 , while controlling for several other socioeconomic determinants of suicide mortality, as well as age- and gender-variations. The results of the analysis reveal that increased economic policy uncertainty is associated with increased suicide mortality of the youngest and the oldest segments of the male population in the United States, while the female population across all ages is found to be resilient to changes in economic policy uncertainty.


United States Economic policy uncertainty Suicide 

JEL Classification

E60 I31 J11 C22 



We would like to thank the editor (Filomena Maggino) and three anonymous reviewers for very insightful comments and suggestions on a previous version of this paper. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics and Finance Subject Group, Portsmouth Business SchoolUniversity of PortsmouthPortsmouthUK
  2. 2.Department of Business and ManagementWebster Vienna Private UniversityViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Economics, Faculty of Economic and Management SciencesUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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