Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Uppsala University
Antidepressants and the Suicide Rate: Is There Really a Connection?
() 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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