Parental depressive symptoms and the child labor-schooling nexus: evidence from Mexico
Research in psychology has suggested that parental depression translates into bad parenting and worsened behavioral outcomes for children. In this article, I look at the e ect of depression on child education and labor outcomes in Mexico. Using a rich panel data set and making use of violent assault as a source of exogenous variation in depressive symptoms, I estimate the impact of a shock to parents' mental health on a series of child outcomes. The ndings suggest that worsened parental mental health increases the probability of grade repetition and market work for children. The e ects are not driven by those children whose parents had the worst mental health status at the onset of the survey, and are robust to alternative speci - cations. Given the documented extensive underutilization of mental health services in Mexico, public interventions in this domain have the potential to come with positive externalities and be cost-ecient.
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