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Sheepskin or prozac: the causal effect of education on mental health

Chevalier, Arnaud and Feinstein, Leon (2006) Sheepskin or prozac: the causal effect of education on mental health. CEEDP, 71. Centre for the Economics of Education, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753020181

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Abstract

Mental illness is associated with large costs to individuals and society. Education improves various health outcomes but little work has been done on mental illness. To obtain unbiased estimates of the effect of education on mental health, we rely on a rich longitudinal dataset that contains health information from childhood to adulthood and thus allow us to control for fixed effects in mental health. We measure two health outcomes: malaise score and depression and estimate the extensive and intensive margins of education on mental health using various estimators. For all estimators, accounting for the endogeneity of education augments its protecting effect on mental health. We find that the effect of education is greater at mid-level of qualifications, for women and for individuals at greater risk of mental illness. The effects of education are observed at all ages, additionally education also reduces the transition to depression. These results suggest substantial returns to education in term of improved mental health.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2006 the authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
L Education > L Education (General)
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education > I29 - Other
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for the Economics of Education (CEE)
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 71
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2008 09:52
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19405/

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