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Mental stress in Ireland, 1994-2000: a stochastic dominance approach


  • David Madden

    (School of Economics, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland)


The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) is frequently used as a measure of mental well-being with those people with values below a certain threshold regarded as suffering from mental stress. Comparison of mental stress levels across populations may then be sensitive to the chosen threshold. This paper uses stochastic dominance techniques to show that mental stress fell in Ireland over the 1994-2000 period regardless of the threshold chosen. Decomposition techniques suggest that changes in the proportion unemployed and in the protective effect of income, education and marital status upon mental health were the principal factors underlying this fall. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • David Madden, 2009. "Mental stress in Ireland, 1994-2000: a stochastic dominance approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(10), pages 1202-1217.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:10:p:1202-1217 DOI: 10.1002/hec.1425

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Owen O’Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff, 2012. "Decomposition of Inequalities in Health and Health Care," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. David (David Patrick) Madden, 2012. "The Socioeconomic Determinants of Mental Stress in Ireland," Working Papers 201221, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. David Madden, 2010. "Gender Differences in Mental Well-Being: a Decomposition Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 99(1), pages 101-114, October.
    4. David Madden, 2011. "The Impact of an Economic Boom on the Level and Distribution of Subjective Well-Being: Ireland, 1994–2001," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 667-679, August.
    5. Ana Sofia Gonçalves, 2014. "Prescription Patterns of Pharmaceuticals," GEE Papers 0054, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Jan 2014.
    6. Brendan M. Walsh, 2011. "Well-being and economic conditions in Ireland," Working Papers 201127, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    7. David (David Patrick) Madden, 2012. "Methods for studying dominance and inequality in population health," Working Papers 201205, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

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