Author (Your Name)

Ivan Balbuzanov, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Economics Dept.


Philip H. Brown

Second Advisor

Andreas Waldkirch


This study estimates the effects of religious participation and permanent income on the probability of committing suicide. There is a scarcity of micro-level studies examining the effect of income and religion on the probability of committing suicide and they tend to suffer from methodological problems. Using data from the 1993 National mortality Followback survey and the 1990 US Census, and cont.rolling for age, race, gender, level of education, urban residence, and marital status, a statistically-significant negative relationship between religions participation and the probability of committing suicide is demonstrated. The estimated effect of income is statistically significant and positive indicating that better-remunerated individuals are likelier to die of suicide than of other causes. The results are robust to including other controls, including region of residence, mental health problems. alcohol and drug abuse, and healthcare access, as well as to alternative specifications of the dependent variable.


Full-text download restricted to Colby College campus only.


religious participation, permanent income, suicide