Teenage suicides: Does school kill?

Christiane Wuckel (RWI Essen)

Taking advantage of temporal and geographical variations in the timing of school holidays in Germany, this paper finds that school holidays cause a 18 percent decrease in the probability of youth suicide. This effect is constant across different types of holidays (fall, Christmas, winter, Easter, Pentecost and summer). Moreover, we find evidence of a spike in suicide propensity in the first two days following the end of school holidays. These results are robust to a series of control variables and to different definitions of youth. Overall, this paper suggests that school holidays have a beneficial impact on the well-being of students and that suicide prevention efforts are particularly important in the days following the end of holidays.