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ERIC Number: EJ815302
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0303-8300
Public Policies and Suicide Rates in the American States
Flavin, Patrick; Radcliff, Benjamin
Social Indicators Research, v90 n2 p195-209 Jan 2009
We are interested in the relationship between public policies and outcomes measuring quality of life. There is no outcome more final than the ending of one's own life. Accordingly, we test the relationship between public policy regimes and suicide rates in the American states. Controlling for other relevant factors (most notably a state's stock of social capital), we find that states with higher per capita public assistance expenditures tend to have lower suicide rates. This relationship is of significant magnitude when translated into potential lives saved each year. We also find that general state policy liberalism and the governing ideologies of state governments are linked to suicide rates. In response to a growing literature on the importance of non-political factors such as social connectedness in determining quality of life, these findings demonstrate that government policies remain important determinates as well.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States