Mental Illness and Unhappiness
AbstractThis paper is a contribution to the second World Happiness Report. It makes five main points: 1. Mental health is the biggest single predictor of life-satisfaction. This is so in the UK, Germany and Australia even if mental health is included with a six-year lag. It explains more of the variance of life-satisfaction in the population of a country than physical health does, and much more than unemployment and income do. Income explains 1% of the variance of life-satisfaction or less. 2. Much the most common forms of mental illness are depression and anxiety disorders. Rigorously defined, these affect about 10% of all the world's population - and prevalence is similar in rich and poor countries. 3. Depression and anxiety are more common during working age than in later life. They account for a high proportion of disability and impose major economic costs and financial losses to governments worldwide. 4. Yet even in rich countries, under a third of people with diagnosable mental illness are in treatment. 5. Cost-effective treatments exist, with recovery rates of 50% or more. In rich countries treatment is likely to have no net cost to the Exchequer due to savings on welfare benefits and lost taxes. But even in poor countries a reasonable level of coverage could be obtained at a cost of under $2 per head of population per year.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1239.
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP
Mental illness; welfare benefits; healthcare costs; life-satisfaction;
Other versions of this item:
- I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
- I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-09-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2013-09-26 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-HEA-2013-09-26 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2013-09-26 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David W. Johnston; & Stefanie Schurer; & Michael Shields;, 2012.
"Evidence on the long shadow of poor mental health across three generations,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
12/20, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Johnston, David W. & Schurer, Stefanie & Shields, Michael A., 2011. "Evidence on the Long Shadow of Poor Mental Health across Three Generations," IZA Discussion Papers 6014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- R. Laynard & D. Clark & M. Knapp & G. Mayraz, 2007.
"Cost-benefit analysis of psychological therapy,"
National Institute Economic Review,
National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 202(1), pages 90-98, October.
- Andrew E. Clark & Francesca Cornaglia & Richard Layard & Nattavudh Powdthavee & James Vernoit, 2013.
"What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-Course Model of Well-Being,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp1245, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Richard Layard & Andrew Clark & Francesca Cornaglia & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2013. "What predicts a successful life? A life-course model of well-being," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2013-16, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
- Layard, Richard & Clark, Andrew E. & Cornaglia, Francesca & Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Vernoit, James, 2013. "What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-Course Model of Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 7682, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A., 2011. "Destined for (Un)Happiness: Does Childhood Predict Adult Life Satisfaction?," IZA Discussion Papers 5819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Mental Illness and Unhappiness
by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2013-10-15 13:42:53
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-02-05 14:23:46
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