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A Cross‐Country Analysis of the Risk Factors for Depression at the Micro and Macro Levels

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  • NATALIA MELGAR
  • MÁXIMO ROSSI

Abstract

Past research has provided evidence of the role of some personal characteristics as risk factors for depression. However, few studies have examined jointly their specific impact and whether country characteristics change the probability of being depressed. In general, this is due to the use of single-country databases. The aim of this paper is to extend previous findings by employing a much larger dataset and including the country effects mentioned above. The paper estimates probit models with country effects and explores linkages between specific environmental factors and depression using data from the 2007 Gallup Public Opinion Poll. Findings indicate that depression is positively related to being a woman, adulthood, divorce, widowhood, unemployment and low income. Moreover, there is evidence of the significant positive association between inequality and depression, especially for those living in urban areas. Finally, some population’s characteristics facilitate depression (age distribution and religious affiliation).
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Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Melgar & Máximo Rossi, 2012. "A Cross‐Country Analysis of the Risk Factors for Depression at the Micro and Macro Levels," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 354-376, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:71:y:2012:i:2:p:354-376
    DOI: j.1536-7150.2012.00831.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1536-7150.2012.00831.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joan Costa Font & Joan Gil Trasfi, 2006. "Socio-Economic Inequalities in Reported Depression in Spain : A Decomposition Approach," Working Papers in Economics 152, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    2. World Bank, 2003. "Mental Health," World Bank Other Operational Studies 9719, The World Bank.
    3. Frederick J. Zimmerman & Wayne Katon, 2005. "Socioeconomic status, depression disparities, and financial strain: what lies behind the income-depression relationship?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(12), pages 1197-1215.
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    Cited by:

    1. Natalia Melgar & Irene Mussio & Maximo Rossi, 2013. "Environmental Concern and Behavior: Do Personal Attributes Matter?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0113, Department of Economics - dECON.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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