Model needed (kind of)

My research topic has always been related to the correlation between the economy and suicide, but my question has changed several times due to availably of data, among other factors.
I’ve had a hard time finding an economic model that explains the different factors of my research topic. I want to look at how unemployment and suicide correlates vary in different states, and if the relationship between unemployment and suicide is different for men than for women.
Suicide is a very complex (and tragic) issue, and economic factors likely play a small role in suicide rates. I’m thinking about using a cost benefit analysis to predict suicide rates. (the cost of staying alive v. the benefits of committing suicide.) I am aware that his model greatly simplifies suicide, but I am trying to predict specifically how economic factors impact suicide rates.

Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it!

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One Response to Model needed (kind of)

  1. cflurry says:

    I think it’s quite noble of you to consider the study of suicide. It’s one of those harsh realities of life that we’re all afraid to talk about, when in fact that me the very best thing: Awareness creates understanding and eventually saves lives.

    For economic impacts, I personally believe you were very close to the right track with your original ideas, but I think you’re onto something interesting with “cost-benefit” analysis.
    If you were to assume that a person relates their own “value” to their personal net worth, then perhaps that’d be a way
    – Their income is the primary contribution of their net worth.
    – Debt, especially uncollateralized (student loans, credit cards, gambling debts) would assumingly subtract from their net worth.
    – Perhaps also consider that sentiment lags reality and tends to project current trends indefinitely into the future: if I’ve just gotten a raise, my “net worth” has increased substantially; if I’ve just been fired or received a major pay cut, it may have had the opposite effect.

    I certainly agree with you that there can be many, many contributors to this terrible disease, but starting with the pure economics is certainly a good point — the worst case is your work may help to guide more study in the future, which is hardly a bad thing.

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