Foxconn Suicides: Media Gets It Wrong … Again

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December 13, 2010

The media are at it again.  Foxconn, the Taiwan-based company that actually builds iPhones and iPads, has factories all over mainland China.  About a million people work for them.  And the media has their knickers in a twist over the fact that 13 Foxconn workers have committed suicide during the past year.

Number-crunching is what this blog is about.  So here are some numbers.  According to the World Health Organization, China’s suicide rates for 1999 were 13.0 (males) and 14.8 (females).  That’s the rate per 100,000 population.  Foxconn has a rate of 13 per million, about 1/10 of the nationwide  average.

Instead of castigating Foxconn, the media should be congratulating them for their high-quality mental health programs.

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About Tony Lima

Retired after teaching economics at California State Univ., East Bay (Hayward, CA). Ph.D., economics, Stanford. Also taught MBA finance at the California University of Management and Technology. Occasionally take on a consulting project if it's interesting. Other interests include wine and technology.