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Does State Spending on Mental Health Lower Suicide Rates?

32 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2010 Last revised: 6 Aug 2011

Justin M. Ross

Indiana University - School of Public & Environmental Affairs

Pavel A. Yakovlev

Duquesne University

Fatima Carson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 5, 2010

Abstract

Using recently released data on public mental health expenditures by U.S. states from 1997 to 2005, this study is the first to examine the effect of state mental health spending on suicide rates. We find the effect of per capita public mental health expenditures on the suicide rate to be qualitatively small and lacking statistical significance. This finding holds across different estimation techniques, gender, and age groups. The estimates suggest that policies aimed at income growth, divorce prevention or support, and assistance to low income individuals could be more effective at suicide prevention than state mental health expenditures.

Keywords: Suicide mortality, Mental health, Public spending

JEL Classification: I12, I18, I31

Suggested Citation

Ross, Justin M. and Yakovlev, Pavel A. and Carson, Fatima, Does State Spending on Mental Health Lower Suicide Rates? (October 5, 2010). Journal of Socio-Economics, Forthcoming; Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs Research Paper No. 2011-10-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1687864 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1687864

Justin M. Ross (Contact Author)

Indiana University - School of Public & Environmental Affairs ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Pavel A. Yakovlev

Duquesne University ( email )

600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

Fatima Carson

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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