Socioeconomic ramifications of changing cohort size: an analysis of U.S. postwar suicide rates by age and sex

Dennis A. Ahlburg*, Morton Owen Schapiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents a relative cohort size model of suicide. The model states that as relative cohort size (the ratio of younger to older workers) rises, income and income aspirations diverge for the young. One possible extreme reaction to this disequilibrium is suicide. The model explains the variation in age- and sex-specific suicide rates for the United States over the period 1948 to 1976. It identifies the direct effect of changes in cohort size on suicide rates as well as the indirect effect operating through other demographic variables. The model predicts the suicide rates for males above 45 years of age to rise and those for all other groups to decline. For most groups this is a reversal of recent movements in their suicide rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalDemography
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography

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