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  • Thumbnail for Suicide Likelihood Among Farmers in Punjab
    Suicide Likelihood Among Farmers in Punjab by Lauer, Jacob

    This study focuses on the problem of agrarian suicide in the Punjab region of India using individual level survey data. Previous research on North Indian farmer suicides has focused solely on economic and climate related causes, and ignored familial and personal characteristics of these victims almost entirely. This study fills this gap using a Logit model to analyze how different social, as well as financial and agricultural factors increase or decrease suicide likelihood among farmers in northern India. Then it further breaks down the financial components using a Tobit Regression to model how various aspects, such as education, affect farmer debt. The findings confirm previous aggregate studies of suicide showing education and marriage to be negative correlates and decreased crop profits and debt to be positive correlates of suicide; however, it also finds the coefficients of the social factors to be much larger than those of the financial and agricultural variables. This suggests that social factors, and not debt and crop failure, may be the most important keys to preventing Indian farmer suicide. The combination of these findings helps identify Indian agrarian workers who are most prone to suicide as well as provide direction for potential policy solutions to the suicide epidemic.