Accumulated Suicides in Korea since Economic Crisis in 1997: An Ecological Study

Sang Lim Lee, Utah State University
Youngtae Cho, Seoul National University
Nao Xiong, Utah State University

The economic crisis in 1997 has shocked Korean society in almost all aspects. The adverse effect of crisis has resulted not only in economic disasters but also in a notable range of social disorganization. Consequently, the suicide rate has increased in an unprecedented degree. Further, it has been witnessed that the elderly populations are the most severely victimized group regarding increased suicide rate. This research examines the differential suicide rates across age groups and investigates causes of this phenomenon. From an ecological analysis of recent suicide rates in Korea, we find relative cohort size significantly lowers the disadvantageous suicide rates of the elderly, consistent with the study by Pampel (1996).

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Inequality, Labor Force, Education, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Religion, Policy