ABSTRACT – This paper seeks to verify whether an abrupt change in exposure time to solar luminosity affects suicide incidence. The article is based on the medical and psychiatric literature suggesting that this climate variable seems to affect reported cases of suicide worldwide. Methodologically, data relating to mortality in Southern Brazil were used over a period of 10 years, and a natural experiment was used to test the hypothesis that a longer exposure time to sunlight at the end of the day from the introduction date of Daylight Saving Time (DST) was reflected in an increase in suicide deaths. The regression discontinuity design results suggest a DST positive causal effect on suicide, i.e the DST transition in average increase the treated state suicide rate in about 57% (p-valo = 0.011), and this result is precisely zero in others untreated states. Another important results is that this effect is magnified with latitude i.e. considering the latitude effect the DST increase, on average, the suicide rate about 2% each 1,000 km variation.

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