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Heterogeneity in the Relationship between Natural Disasters and Mental Health: A Quantile Approach


  • Nadezhda V. Baryshnikova

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • Ngoc T.A. Pham

    () (School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Adelaide.)


Mental health has been recently declared a global priority by the World Bank and World Health Organization. This article investigates the existence of heterogeneous effects of experiencing natural disasters on mental health. Using population representative longitudinal data from Australia, we find that home owners generally show a reduction in mental health score after a disaster. While the average effect for those that do not own a home is zero, surprisingly, the quantile treatment panel approach reveals the existence of a strong effect that varies from negative to positive across the distribution of mental health. The results suggest that policies targeted at homeowners and the lowest mental health non-owners (rather than only at the economically poorest) would help mitigate mental health consequences attributable to natural disaster exposure.

Suggested Citation

  • Nadezhda V. Baryshnikova & Ngoc T.A. Pham, 2018. "Heterogeneity in the Relationship between Natural Disasters and Mental Health: A Quantile Approach," School of Economics Working Papers 2018-13, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2018-13

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    quantile treatment effects; mental health; disasters; home owners; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis

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