Dynamic effect of economic growth on the persistence of suicide rates

Submitted: 25 March 2023
Accepted: 26 April 2023
Published: 25 May 2023
Abstract Views: 458
PDF: 282
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


Positive and negative economic growth is closely related to the suicide rate. To answer the question whether economic development has a dynamic impact on this rate, we used a panel smooth transition autoregressive model to evaluate the threshold effect of economic growth rate on the persistence of suicide. The research period was from 1994 to 2020, and the results show that the suicide rate had a persistent effect, which varied over time depending on the transition variable within different threshold intervals. However, the persistent effect was manifested in different degrees with the change in the economic growth rate and as the lag period of the suicide rate increased, the effect of the influence gradually decreased. We investigated different lag periods and noted that the impact on the suicide rate was the strongest in the first year after an economic change and then reduced to be only marginal after three years. This means that the growth momentum of the suicide rate within the first two years after a change in the economic growth rate, should be included in policy considerations of how to prevent suicides.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


CBC, 2015. Reasons and countermeasures for the current slowdown of Taiwan's economic growth momentum. Accessed on 20 August 2022. Available from: https://www.cbc.gov.tw/tw/cp-432-50755-CDE82-1.html
Chang RS, 2009. Socioeconomic factors and suicide rates in Taiwan (Master’s Thesis). Available from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan. Institute of Economics, Department of Management Economics, Nanhua University, Chiayi County, Taiwan.
Chen J, Choi YJ, Mori K, Sawada Y, Sugano S, 2014. An analysis of suicides in Japan, 1997–2007: Changes in incidence, persistence, and age profiles. Soc Indic Res 121:253–72. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0635-5
Chen Y-Y, Yip PSF, Lee C, Fan H-F, Fu K-W, 2010. Economic fluctuations and suicide: A comparison of Taiwan and Hong Kong. Soc Sci Med 71:2083–90. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.09.043
Chen YY, 2017. The Impact of Economic Recession on Unemployment Rate and Suicide Rate: A Comparative Review of Taiwan and Certain Countries. [Unpublished PhD theses]. Master of Public Health (MPH) Program, National Taiwan University, Taipei City.
Cheng HH, 2011. Spatial analysis of suicide rates in Taiwan: the effect of change in economic conditions on suicide rates [Master’s thesis]. Graduate Institute of National Development, National Taiwan University, Taipei City.
Choi M, Lee YH, 2020. Regional variation of suicide mortality in South Korea. Int J Environ Res Public Health 17:5433. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155433
Cormier HJ, Klerman GL, 1985. Unemployment and male-female labor force participation as determinants of changing suicide rates of males and females in Quebec. Soc Psych 20:109–14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00583575
Gonzalez A, Teräsvirta T, van Dijk D, 2005. Panel smooth transition regression models. SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance from Stockholm School of Economics 604:1-33
Granger WJ, Teräsvirta T, 1993. Modelling non-linear economic relationships. Oxford University Press.
Guo CR, 2009. An examination of the causes of the global financial storm, its impact on Taiwan, and Taiwan’s policy response. Econ Res 9:59-89
Hansen BE, 1999. Threshold effects in non-dynamic panels: Estimation, testing, and inference. J Econom 93:345–368. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4076(99)00025-1
Hsiao YH, 2018. Analysis on the structural factors of Taiwan's economic growth slowdown in recent years. Central Bank Quart 40:19-56
Jung YS, Chen YY, Yip PSF, 2020. Factors Associated with Regional Years of Life Lost (YLLs) due to Suicide in South Korea. Int J Environ Res Public Health 17:4961. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144961
Luo F, Florence CS, Quispe-Agnoli M, Ouyang L, Crosby AE, 2011. Impact of business cycles on US suicide rates, 1928–2007. Am J Public Health 101:1139–46. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2010.300010
Lyons D, 2009. The two-headed dragon: environmental policy and progress under rising democracy in taiwan. East Asia 26:57–76. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12140-008-9062-z
Mann JJ, Metts AV, 2017. The economy and suicide: an interaction of societal and intrapersonal risk factors. Crisis 38:141-46. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1027/0227-5910/a000487
Marcotte DE, 2003. The economics of suicide, revisited. South Econ J 69:628 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1061698
National Development Council, 2003. The impact of the reorganization of Asian economic and trade forces on Taiwan's economy and its response. Available from from: https://www.ndc.gov.tw/nc_2766_12801
Rabin M, 2002. A perspective on psychology and Economics. Eur Econ Rev 46:657–85. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0014-2921(01)00207-0
Supreme Administrative Court, 2021. Territorial jurisdiction. Available from: https://tpa.judicial.gov.tw/tw/cp-1683-52346-ac388-021.html
Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, 2018. CDC Annual Report 2018. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov.tw/File/Get/tXuJwQ2kA1_7_eatOuNNwA
Teräsvirta T, 1994. Specification, estimation and evaluation of smooth transition autoregressive models. J Am Stat Assoc 89:208. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2291217
Wu CN, Huang HC, Wang CN, Wu RW, 2012. Revisiting Taiwan's exchange rate regime. Taiwan Econ Rev 40:261-88.
Wu P-C, Liu S-Y, Pan S-C, 2013. Nonlinear bilateral trade balance-fundamentals nexus: a panel smooth transition regression approach. Int Rev Econ Finance 27:318–29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iref.2012.10.010
Wu PC, Chang CJ, 2017. Nonlinear impacts of debt ratio and term spread on inward FDI performance persistence. Econ Politica 34:369–88. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40888-017-0076-0
Yang B, 1992. The economy and suicide: A Time-Series Study of the U.S.A. Am J Econ Sociol 51:87–99. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1536-7150.1992.tb02512.x
Yang SY, 2010. Discovering the correlation between suicide rate and macroeconomic variables by using time-series model [Thesis]. Taipei Medical University, Graduate Institute of Biomedical Informatics, Taipei City
Yoo HR, 2018. What are the main factors cause suicide? A panel data analysis among the OECD countries [Thesis]. Chuang Yuan Christian University, Graduate Program of Department of Business Administration, Taoyuan City.

How to Cite

Yang, T.-Y. ., Yang, Y.-T., Chen, S.-H., Lan, Y.-T., & Peng, C.-J. (2023). Dynamic effect of economic growth on the persistence of suicide rates. Geospatial Health, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2023.1201