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Antidepressants and Age

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Author Info

  • Blanchflower, David G.

    ()
    (Dartmouth College)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

Antidepressants as a commodity have been remarkably little-studied by economists. This study shows in new data for 27 European countries that 8% of people (and 10% of those middle-aged) take antidepressants each year. The probability of antidepressant use is greatest among those who are middle-aged, female, unemployed, poorly educated, and divorced or separated. A hill-shaped age pattern is found. The adjusted probability of using antidepressants reaches a peak – approximately doubling – in people’s late 40s. This finding is consistent with, and provides a new and independent form of corroboration of, recent claims in the research literature that human well-being follows a U-shape through life.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5785.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5785

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Related research

Keywords: well-being; aging; mental health; depression; happiness; Easterlin paradox;

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References

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  1. Kuhn, Andreas & Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2009. "The Public Health Costs of Job Loss," IZA Discussion Papers 4355, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  3. Askitas, Nikos & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Health and Well-Being in the Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 5601, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gallup_world_poll_jep_spring2008 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 2007. "Is Well-being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alexander Pacek & Benjamin Radcliff, 2008. "Welfare Policy and Subjective Well-Being Across Nations: An Individual-Level Assessment," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 179-191, October.
  7. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2009. "The U-Shape without Controls," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 896, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Offer, Avner, 2007. "The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216628.
  9. Carol Graham, 2005. "Insights on Development from the Economics of Happiness," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 201-231.
  10. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2006. "How's Your Government? International Evidence Linking Good Government and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 11988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ludwig, Jens & Marcotte, Dave E. & Norberg, Karen, 2009. "Anti-depressants and suicide," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 659-676, May.
  12. m. j. daunton, 2007. "The challenge of affluence: self-control and well-being in the United States and Britain since 1950 - Avner Offer," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(1), pages 210-211, 02.
  13. Parr, Joy, 2007. "The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Great Britain since 1950. By Avner Offer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Pp. xviii, 454. $45.00, cloth; $25.00,," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 1085-1086, December.
  14. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2009. "The U-shape without controls: A response to Glenn," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 486-488, August.
  15. Paul Dolan & Daniel Kahneman, 2008. "Interpretations Of Utility And Their Implications For The Valuation Of Health," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 215-234, 01.
  16. Easterlin, Richard A., 2006. "Life cycle happiness and its sources: Intersections of psychology, economics, and demography," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 463-482, August.
  17. Bert G.M. Van Landeghem, 2008. "Human Well-Being over the Life Cycle: Longitudinal Evidence from a 20-Year Panel," LICOS Discussion Papers 21308, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  18. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
  19. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
  20. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  21. Glenn, Norval, 2009. "Is the apparent U-shape of well-being over the life course a result of inappropriate use of control variables? A commentary on Blanchflower and Oswald (66: 8, 2008, 1733-1749)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 481-485, August.
  22. Sleath, Betsy & Tina Shih, Ya-Chen, 2003. "Sociological influences on antidepressant prescribing," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1335-1344, March.
  23. Green, Francis, 2011. "Unpacking the misery multiplier: How employability modifies the impacts of unemployment and job insecurity on life satisfaction and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 265-276, March.
  24. Robert Biswas-Diener & Joar Vittersø & Ed Diener, 2010. "The Danish Effect: Beginning to Explain High Well-Being in Denmark," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 97(2), pages 229-246, June.
  25. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gall is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. López Ulloa, Beatriz Fabiola & Moller, Valerie & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "How Does Subjective Well-Being Evolve with Age? A Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 7328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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