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Department of Economics, Uppsala University Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Uppsala University

No 2005:4:
Antidepressants and the Suicide Rate: Is There Really a Connection?

Matz Dahlberg () and Douglas Lundin ()

Abstract: Recent research claims that the major part of the observed reduction in suicide rates during the 1990’s can be explained by the increase in the prescription of antidepressants. This conclusion is however based on research that only looks at raw correlations; confounding effects from other variables are not controlled for. Using a rich data set, we reinvestigate the issue. After controlling for other covariates, observed as well as unobserved, that might affect the suicide rate, we find, overall, no statistically significant effects from antidepressants on the suicide rate; when we do get significant effects, they are positive for young persons. Regarding the latter result, more research is needed before any firm policy conclusion can be made.

Keywords: Suicide; antidepressants; Poisson fixed effects; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C23; I12; (follow links to similar papers)

31 pages, January 15, 2005

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