Advertisement

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 201–208 | Cite as

Impact of the economic crises on suicide in Italy: the moderating role of active labor market programs

  • Giorgio Mattei
  • Barbara PistoresiEmail author
  • Roberto De Vogli
Original Paper

Abstract

Purpose

To analyze the association between unemployment and suicide in Italy during the years 1990–2014, with a peculiar focus on the great recession (GR) and the role played by social protection as buffering mechanism against the negative effect on health outcomes.

Methods

Fixed effects panel regressions were used to assess the association between changes in unemployment rate and suicide rates. Additional models investigated the role of active labor market programs (ALMPs) as possible moderators of the association. Analyses were carried out for both males and females, stratified by age and region.

Results

The negative time-trend displayed by suicide rate in Italy until 2007 was slowed down by changes in unemployment at the beginning of the GR, when this trend reversed and the rate of suicide started increasing. Male workers aged 25–64 and women aged 55–64 years were affected by both “normal” unemployment rate fluctuations as well as severe economic crises. Women aged 35–44 were only influenced by the latter. Men benefit from ALMPs mainly in Central Italy, while women did not benefit significantly from ALMPs.

Conclusions

In Italy, economic downturns were associated with increased suicides mainly among men, while severe economic crises were associated with increased suicides among both men and women. ALMPs showed to be effective in moderating the association between unemployment and suicide among men aged 45–54 only in Central Italy. The overall small effectiveness of such programs may be due to lack of sufficient funding.

Keywords

Economic crisis Italy Suicide Active labor market programs Fixed effects panel regression 

Notes

Acknowledgements

BP gratefully acknowledges the financial support from FAR 2017 provided by University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

References

  1. 1.
    Wessel D (2010) Did ‘Great Recession’ live up to the name? Wall Str J http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303591204575169693166352882. Accessed 30 April 2018
  2. 2.
    Blanchard O, Amighini A, Gavazzi F (2010) Macroeconomics. A European perspective. Financial Times, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    World Health Organization (2011) Impact of economic crises on mental health. http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/healthtopics/noncommunicable-diseases/mental-health/publications/2011/ impact-of-economic-crises-on-mental-health. Accessed 30 April 2018
  4. 4.
    Stuckler D, Basu S, Suhrcke M et al (2009) The public health effect of economic crises and alternative policy responses in Europe: an empirical analysis. Lancet 374:315–323CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Stuckler D, Basu S (2013) The body economic. Allen Lane, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    O’Brien M (2014) Italy’s triple-dip recession has wiped out all its growth since 2000. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/08/07/italys-triple-dip-recession-has-wiped-out-all-its-growth-since-2000/. Accessed 21 February 2018
  7. 7.
    Fubini F (2014) Recessione Italia. Come usciamo dalla crisi più lunga della storia. Editori Laterza, Roma-Bari (in Italian) Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    De Vogli R (2013) Unemployment and suicides during the recession in Italy. BMJ 347:f4908CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    De Vogli R, Marmot M, Stuckler D (2013) Excess suicides and attempted suicides in Italy attributable to the great recession. J Epidemiol Commun Health 67(4):378–379.  https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2012-201607. Epub 2012 Aug 2Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mattei G, Ferrari S, Pingani L, Rigatelli M (2014) Short-term effects of the 2008 Great Recession on the health of the Italian population: an ecological study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 49:851–858CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    König D, Fellinger M, Pruckner N, Hinterbuchinger B, Dorffner G, Gleiss A, Vyssoki S, Vyssoki B (2018) Availability and use of mental health services in European countries: influence on national suicide rates. J Affect Disord 15:239:66–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Torbica A, Maggioni AP, Ghislandi S (2015) The economic crisis and acute myocardial infarction: new evidence using hospital-level data. PLoS One 10(11):e0142810.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0142810 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gallus S, Tramacere I, Pacifici R et al (2011) Smoking in Italy 2008–2009: a rise in prevalence related to the economic crisis? Prev Med 52:182–183CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mattei G, De Vogli R, Ferrari S et al (2017) Impact of the economic crisis on health-related behaviors in Italy. Int J Soc Psychiatry 63:649–656CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zuccato E, Castiglioni S, Tettamanti et al (2011) Changes in illicit drug consumption patterns in 2009 detected by wastewater analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend 118:464–469CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bor J, Basu S, Coutts A et al (2013) Alcohol use during the great recession of 2008–2009. Alcohol 48(3):343–348.  https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agt002 (Epub 2013 Jan 29) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    de Goeij MC, Suhrcke M, Toffolutti V et al (2015) How economic crises affect alcohol consumption and alcohol-related health problems: a realist systematic review. Soc Sci Med 131:131–146.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.02.025 (Epub 2015 Feb 18) CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dom G, Samochowiec J, Evans-Lacko S et al (2016) The impact of the 2008 economic crisis on substance use patterns in the countries of the European Union. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:122  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010122 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Margerison-Zilko C, Goldman-Mellor S, Falconi A et al (2016) Health impacts of the Great Recession: a critical review. Curr Epidemiol Rep.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40471-016-0068-6 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Martin-Carrasco M, Evans-Lacko S, Dom G et al (2016) EPA guidance on mental health and economic crises in Europe. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 266:89–124.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406016-0681-x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Odone A, Landriscina T, Amerio A, Costa G (2018) The impact of the current economic crisis on mental health in Italy: evidence from two representative national surveys. Eur J Public Health 28(3):490–495.  https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckx220 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Uutela A (2010) Economic crises and mental health. Curr Opin Psychiatry 23(2):127–130CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Swanson JW, Bonnie RJ, Appelbaum PS (2015) Getting serious about reducing suicide: more ‘How’ and Less ‘Why’. JAMA 314:2229–2230CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cavanagh JT, Carson AJ, Sharpe M, Lawrie SM (2003) Psychological autopsy studies of suicide: a systematic review. Psychol Med 33(3):395–405CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Istituto per lo Sviluppo della Formazione Professionale dei Lavoratori (2016) Rapporto di monitoraggio sui servizi per il lavoro 2015 [Report on the monitoring of job service]. Roma, Isfol. Accessed 30 April 2018 (in Italian)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ufficio Studi Confcommercio (2016) La spesa pubblica locale [Local public expenditure] http://www.confcommercio.it/documents/10180/9356497/La+spesa+pubblica+locale.pdf/e77fcdd6-5387-4d71-9546-825cf40cd026. Accessed 19 May 2018 (in Italian)
  27. 27.
    Visentini C, Mattei G, Gobba F et al (2017) Impact of the economic crisis on mental health: report of a multidisciplinary seminar held in Sassuolo (Modena), June 17th, 2016. Med Lav 108(3):237–238Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Tassinari G, Modenese A, Mungai F et al (2018) Psychic discomfort in the workplace: report of a multidisciplinary conference occurred in Modena in 25 October 2017. Med Lav 109(3):236–238Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Mattei G, Sacchi V, Alfieri A et al (2018) Stakeholders’ views on vocational rehabilitation programs: a call for collaboration with Occupational Health Physicians. Med Lav 109(3):201–209PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Starace F, Mungai F, Sarti E, Addabbo T (2017) Self-reported unemployment status and recession: an analysis on the Italian population with and without mental health problems. PLoS One 12:7–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ceccherini-Nelli A, Piebe S (2011) Economic factors and suicide rates: associations over time in four countries. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 46(10):975–982CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Toffolutti V, Suhrcke M (2014) Assessing the short term health impact of the great recession in the European Union: a cross-country panel analysis. Prev Med 64:54–62CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Mattei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Barbara Pistoresi
    • 3
    Email author
  • Roberto De Vogli
    • 4
  1. 1.“Marco Biagi” Department of Economics and Marco Biagi FoundationUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  2. 2.Section of Psychiatry, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural SciencesUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Economics, RECent, Center for Economic ResearchUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmilaModenaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Social Psychology and Development and Human Rights CentreUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly

Personalised recommendations