Research results show that suicide rate decreases by up to 6% when minimum wage rises by $ 1
There are various reasons for suicide, but financial problems are considered to be the leading cause of suicide. A study by a research team at the Emory University in the United States found that an increase in the minimum wage of $ 1 would reduce the suicide rate of people by 3.5-6%.
Effects of increased minimum wages by unemployment rate on suicide in the USA | Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
US $ 1 dollar increase in minimum wage linked to 3.5-6% fall in suicide rate | EurekAlert! Science News
expert reaction to study looking at minimum wage and suicide risk in the United States | Science Media Center
The number of suicides in the United States in 2017 is estimated to be about 47,000, and among the young people aged 18 to 24, nearly 20% of the causes of death are suicide. The suicide rate of Americans continues to increase year by year, and it seems that the suicide rate increased by more than 30% in about half of the states from 1999 to 2017.
Although it has been known that economic problems are a major cause of suicide, the impact of economic interventions such as minimum wage policies on suicide rates has not been well studied. The Emory University research team analyzed monthly data, such as minimum wages across the United States and unemployment and suicide rates between the ages of 18 and 64, between 1990 and 2015.
According to the research team, there were 478 minimum wage policy changes throughout the United States during the 1990-2015 study period. In the United States, there is a federal minimum wage and a state minimum wage, and the higher is the actual minimum wage. In 1990, the federal minimum wage was $ 3.8 (about 600 yen at that time), but in 2015 it increased to $ 7.25 (about 800 yen). Also, as of 2015, Washington DC and 29 states have state minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage.
During the period 1990-2015, the number of suicides among high school graduates of 18 to 64 years or lower with a bachelor's degree or lower was 399,206, and suicides with a university degree or higher. The number was 140,176. An analysis of the relationship between the federal minimum wage and the state-specific minimum wage and the suicide rate and unemployment rate showed that for every $ 1 increase in the minimum wage, the suicide rate for high school graduates and those with lower education was 3.5-. A relationship of 6% reduction was found. The change in the minimum wage did not affect the suicide rate of those who graduated from college or have a higher educational background.
In addition, the relationship between minimum wage and suicide rate was affected by unemployment at the state level. If the unemployment rate was 6.5% or higher, the suicide rate decreased as the minimum wage increased, but if the unemployment rate was low, the relationship between the minimum wage and the suicide rate was weakened.
Based on estimates calculated by the analysis, the research team found that if the minimum wage was $ 1 higher than it was in 2009-2015 after the Lehman shock when the unemployment rate increased, a high school diploma or lower education Allegedly reduced the total number of suicides among those aged between 18 and 64 with 13,800. Furthermore, if the minimum wage was $ 2 higher (about 220 yen), the number of suicides would have been reduced by 25,900.
Also, when calculated over the 26 years of the entire research period, it can be estimated that if the minimum wage is higher by 1 dollar, the number of suicides has decreased by 27,550, and if the minimum wage is higher by 2 dollars, it has been estimated that 57,350 people have decreased. This study is based solely on observations and does not identify the mechanisms behind minimum wages and suicide rates. However, the team noted that higher unemployment could reduce suicide rates if unemployment is high.
Dean Burnett, an honorary researcher at Cardiff University , points out that financial status is not the only cause of suicide, but suggests that direct economic intervention is effective in preventing suicide, according to the study. In this regard, he said the study was significant.
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