Macroeconomics and Suicide in Mexico and Central America

  •  Luis Rene Caceres    


This paper aims to identify the macroeconomic variables that determine the female and male suicide rates in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, using panel data from the 2000-2018 period. The results show that macroeconomics exerts important effects on suicide, especially those effects originating in the labor market: unemployment and self-employment increase it while salaried employment and in the service sector decrease it. Likewise, variables associated with social exclusion, such as homicides and the poverty gap, increase it, while remittances reduce it, and deindustrialization increases the suicide rate. Of particular importance is the role of monetary and credit contraction, as well as interest rate rises, in increasing the suicide rate. The paper explores some adjustment mechanisms that do not rely on monetary contraction but on increasing aggregate supply by increasing female employment The paper ends with a series of conclusions.

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