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News

CHEMP hosted a seminar dedicated to the problem of suicide in developing countries

This Wednseday the Centre held a seminar on suicide in developing countries. Our colleague from the University of Göttingen, Viacheslav Yakubenko, gave a presentation on his paper 'Burnt by the sun. Explaining suicide in developing countries'.

Abstract More than 800.000 people commit suicide every year - around one person every 40 seconds. Despite the popular stereotypes, around 75\% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. Nevertheless, the vast majority of studies of suicide is conducted in developed countries undermining their external validity. This paper takes advantage of the macro data and analyses fundamental factors determining cross-country variations in suicide rates. The main novelty of the study is introduction of ultra-violet radiation as a key factor affecting incidence of suicide. As a result, this paper documents a striking contrast between the major determinants of suicide in developed and developing countries. While biology explains a substantial part of cross-country variation in high-income countries, suicide rates in the developing world are primarily driven by a range of social factors (e.g., income, life expectancy, quality of medical care). These findings are crucial for designing an efficient suicide-preventing policy.

The seminar was attended by our HSE colleagues from various departments.
We thank Viacheslav for his presentation that had led to a productive discussion on suicide in different countries, as well as on health economics in general, and wish him all the luck in his future academic endeavours!