Wednesday, October 29, 2003

The Economics of Suicide

A very interesting article that posits the question, and the possibility, of combating suicide as more of an illness than a moment-in-time lapse. The article also contains interesting statistics some of which are pretty shocking:

Approximately 2.9 percent of the U.S. population has attempted suicide—1,760 attempts per day.)

and found that after people attempt suicide and fail, their incomes increase by an average of 20.6 percent compared to peers who seriously contemplate suicide but never make an attempt. In fact, the more serious the attempt, the larger the boost—"hard-suicide" attempts, in which luck is the only reason the attempts fail, are associated with a 36.3 percent increase in income. (The presence of nonattempters as a control group suggests the suicide effort is the root cause of the boost.)

interesting if a bit disturbing read. I would also like to know what the post-attempt life is like for those who seriously attempt suicide and fail, but end up chronically injuring themselves in the process (losing limbs or becoming paralyzed, for example). Do their incomes also shoot up 36%?


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