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Gender difference in suicide, household production and unemployment

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This article aims to explain why men's suicide rate is generally higher than women's and why the former tends to fluctuate with unemployment. Adopting Hamermesh and Soss's suicide model (1974), with a two-period household production model, I argue that (1) the gender gap in suicide rate increases with the unemployment rate, because unemployed men suffer a larger 'human capital loss', due to the division of labour within their household and (2) men's suicide rate is generally higher than women's because of the shorter expected life of the former. Both international and US evidences support this hypothesis.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Professional and Continuing Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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