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Maternal depression and child human capital: a genetic instrumental variable approach

Clark, Andrew E., D'Ambrosio, Conchita, Ghislandi, Simone, Lepinteur, Anthony and Menta, Giorgia (2021) Maternal depression and child human capital: a genetic instrumental variable approach. CEP Discussion Papers (1749). Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, London, UK.

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We here address the causal relationship between maternal depression and child human capital using UK cohort data. We exploit the conditionally-exogenous variation in mothers’ genomes in an instrumentalvariable approach, and describe the conditions under which mother’s genetic variants can be used as valid instruments. An additional episode of maternal depression between the child’s birth up to age nine reduces both their cognitive and non-cognitive skills by 20 to 45% of a SD throughout adolescence. Our results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests addressing, among others, concerns about pleiotropy and the maternal transmission of genes to her child.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 15:18
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 15:18

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