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The Role of Knowledge Accumulation in Health and Longevity: The Puzzling Case of Suicide

Williams, Ruth F. G and Doessel, Darrel P (2007) The Role of Knowledge Accumulation in Health and Longevity: The Puzzling Case of Suicide. Prometheus , 25 (3). pp. 283-303. ISSN 0810-9028

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Abstract

Many Western countries have experienced the ‘rectangularisation of the [demographic] survival curve’, leading to a rise in life expectancy. This process is the result of falling death rates, which leads to increasing longevity. In this article, suicide is placed within the general perspective of declining All Causes mortality. It is shown that suicide is atypical when compared with other causes of death. Which ever way it is measured, whether by an unweighted headcount measure or a weighted Potential Years of Life Lost measure, the suicide rate is not subject to secular decline. In fact, it has become (numerically) a relatively more important cause of death. This article puts some emphasis on the arguments by Joel Mokyr, an economic historian, about the importance of knowledge accumulation. It is argued that, in the case of suicide, there is a deficiency in knowledge of the causes of suicide and the prevention of suicide.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID12930, Australia, knowledge, longevity, mortality, suicide
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Economics and Finance
FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
SEO Classification > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health)
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Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 17 May 2012 05:21
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 04:51
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/3447
DOI: 10.1080/08109020701531403
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Citations in Scopus: 4 - View on Scopus

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