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Exploring the intergenerational persistence of mental health: Evidence from three generations

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  • Johnston, David W.
  • Schurer, Stefanie
  • Shields, Michael A.

Abstract

This paper uses data from the 1970 British Cohort Study to quantify the intergenerational persistence of mental health, and the long-run economic costs associated with poor parental mental health. We find a strong and significant intergenerational correlation that is robust to different covariate sets, sample restrictions, model specifications and potential endogeneity. Importantly, the intergenerational persistence is economically relevant, with maternal mental health associated with lasting effects on the child's educational attainment, future household income and the probability of having criminal convictions. These results do not disappear after controlling for children's own childhood and adulthood mental health.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnston, David W. & Schurer, Stefanie & Shields, Michael A., 2013. "Exploring the intergenerational persistence of mental health: Evidence from three generations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1077-1089.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:6:p:1077-1089
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.09.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational transmission; Mobility; Mental health; Economic outcomes; Crime;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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