Income Shocks and Suicides: Causal Evidence From Indonesia

87 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2016 Last revised: 17 Aug 2018

See all articles by Cornelius Christian

Cornelius Christian

St. Francis Xavier University

Lukas Hensel

University of Oxford

Christopher Roth

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: March 30, 2018

Abstract

We examine how income shocks affect the suicide rate in Indonesia. We use a difference-in-differences approach, exploiting the cash transfer’s nationwide roll-out, and corroborate the findings using a randomized experiment embedded in the program roll-out. Our estimates from the nationwide roll-out show that the cash transfers reduce the yearly suicide rate by 0.36 per 100,000 people, corresponding to an 18 percent decrease. Moreover, a different type of income shock, variability in agricultural productivity, also affects the suicide rate. The cash transfer program reduces the causal impact of the agricultural productivity shocks, suggesting an important role for policy interventions. Finally, we provide evidence for a psychological mechanism by showing that agricultural productivity shocks affect depression.

Suggested Citation

Christian, Cornelius and Hensel, Lukas and Roth, Christopher, Income Shocks and Suicides: Causal Evidence From Indonesia (March 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2716684 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2716684

Cornelius Christian

St. Francis Xavier University ( email )

Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Canada

Lukas Hensel

University of Oxford ( email )

South Parks Road
Oxford, OX1 3QZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/lukashenseleconomics

Christopher Roth (Contact Author)

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

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