Via The Guardian: Austerity in Greece caused more than 500 male suicides, say researchers. Excerpt:
Spending cuts in Greece caused a rise in male suicides, according to research that attempts to highlight the health costs of austerity.
Echoing official statistics in the UK showing suicide rates are still higher than before the crisis, researchers at the University of Portsmouth have found a correlation between spending cuts and suicides in Greece.
According to the research, every 1% fall in government spending in Greece led to a 0.43% rise in suicides among men. In other words, after controlling for other characteristics that might lead to suicide, 551 men killed themselves "solely because of fiscal austerity" between 2009 and 2010, said the paper's co-author Nikolaos Antonakakis.
"That is almost one person per day. Given that in 2010 there were around two suicides in Greece per day, it appears 50% were due to austerity," he added.
Antonakakis, a senior lecturer in economics and finance, and himself a Greek national, said he had been prompted to look into a potential link between austerity and suicide rates after media stories and reports of friends of friends dying from suicide.
Although there had been studies into the health effects of negative economic growth, there was a gap when it came specifically to spending cuts and health, he said.
Antonakakis and his co-author, the economics professor Alan Collins, said they were surprised at how many suicides appeared linked to austerity and how clear the connection was.
There was also a clear gender divide in the effects of austerity with no obvious rise in female suicide rates, according to the research published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.
Men aged 45-89 faced the highest suicide risk in response to austerity because they were most likely to suffer cuts to their salaries and pensions, the research said.