Home> Archive> 2024> Volume 14, Number 3, 2024
IJSSH 2024 Vol.14(3): 139-144
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2024.14.3.1206

Economic Development and Suicide in Thailand

Sunti Tirapat

Nida Business School, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand
Email: sunti@cbs.chula.ac.th
Manuscript received September 15, 2023; revised October 13, 2023; accepted March 1, 2024; published June 21, 2024.

Abstract—After the recent pandemic, suicide has emerged as one of the serious public concerns in Thailand. While suicide rates experienced a peak immediately after the 1997 financial crisis and subsequently declined steadily until 2019, a recent trend indicates a disconcerting resurgence. Suicides can be attributed to the psychosocial, social, and economic stress encountered by individuals, all of which are influenced by the extent of economic development. This study aims to investigate socio-economic factors and their impacts related to suicide rates in Thailand during the period of 2012–2021. Based on the provincial-level panel data, the results show a robust negative association of suicide rate with both income and population density. It also finds that the mitigating impacts on suicide are more pronounced among males compared to females. This finding may reflect Thai cultural norms where males are considered the heads of households. With respect to social factors, the results show a negative association between school density and suicide rates, while intriguingly, temple density and the level of financial development exhibit a positive influence. When considering the potential impact of austerity measures implemented during COVID-19 on suicide, it is found that the negative effect of population density on suicide lessens during the pandemic. A plausible explanation may be due to the fear of contagion and the spread of the virus. Furthermore, it reveals that Thai males are more responsive to the pandemic than females. Overall, the study provides insights into Thai suicide rates and the findings underscore the complexity of suicide. Lastly, given inherent data constraints, these findings remain preliminary, and a more extensive inquiry is needed to offer an effective suicide prevention policy.

Keywords—suicide, economic development, Thailand


Cite: Sunti Tirapat, "Economic Development and Suicide in Thailand," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 139-144, 2024.

Copyright © 2024 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).


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