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Do More of Those in Misery Suffer from Poverty, Unemployment or Mental Illness?

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  • Sarah Flèche
  • Richard Layard

Abstract

Studies of deprivation usually ignore mental illness. This paper uses household panel data from the USA, Australia, Britain and Germany to broaden the analysis. We ask first how many of those in the lowest levels of life-satisfaction suffer from unemployment, poverty, physical ill health, and mental illness. The largest proportion suffer from mental illness. Multiple regression shows that mental illness is not highly correlated with poverty or unemployment, and that it contributes more to explaining the presence of misery than is explained by either poverty or unemployment. This holds both with and without fixed effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Flèche & Richard Layard, 2015. "Do More of Those in Misery Suffer from Poverty, Unemployment or Mental Illness?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 784, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp784
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruce Headey & Jonathan Kelley & Alex Wearing, 1993. "Dimensions of mental health: Life satisfaction, positive affect, anxiety and depression," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 63-82, May.
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    4. Carol Graham & Lucas Higuera & Eduardo Lora, 2009. "Valuing Health Conditions - Insights from Happiness Surveys across Countries and Cultures," Research Department Publications 4635, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Helliwell, John & Layard, Richard & Sachs, Jeffrey, 2012. "World happiness report," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47487, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Mukuria, Clara & Brazier, John, 2013. "Valuing the EQ-5D and the SF-6D health states using subjective well-being: A secondary analysis of patient data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 97-105.
    7. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
    8. Carol Graham & Lucas Higuera & Eduardo Lora, 2011. "Which health conditions cause the most unhappiness?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(12), pages 1431-1447, December.
    9. repec:idb:brikps:4998 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Do More of those in Misery Suffer From Poverty, Unemployment or Mental Illness? By: Sarah Flèche ; Richard Layard
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2015-06-15 22:29:53
    2. Do More of Those in Misery Suffer from Poverty, Unemployment or Mental Illness? By: Flèche, Sarah (CEP, London School of Economics) ; Layard, Richard (London School of Economics)
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2015-08-17 19:30:31
    3. Do more of those in misery suffer from poverty, unemployment or mental illness? By: Sarah Flèche ; Richard Layard
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2015-07-30 22:25:31

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Clark, Andrew E. & Lee, Tom, 2021. "Early-life correlates of later-life well-being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 360-368.
    2. Rigg, Khary K. & McNeish, Roxann & Schadrac, Daniel & Gonzalez, Alejandra & Tran, Quynh, 2019. "Community needs of minority male youth living in inner-city Chicago," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 284-289.
    3. Strulik, Holger, 2019. "An economic theory of depression and its impact on health behavior and longevity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 269-287.
    4. Milena Nikolova & Sinem H. Ayhan, 2019. "Your spouse is fired! How much do you care?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 799-844, July.
    5. Kelsey J. O'Connor, 2020. "Life Satisfaction and Noncognitive Skills: Effects on the Likelihood of Unemployment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(4), pages 568-604, November.
    6. Clark, Andrew E. & Lee, Tom, 2021. "Early-life correlates of later-life well-being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 360-368.
    7. Niclas Berggren & Andreas Bergh & Christian Bjørnskov & Shiori Tanaka, 2020. "Migrants and Life Satisfaction: The Role of the Country of Origin and the Country of Residence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(3), pages 436-463, August.
    8. Christopher Barrington-Leigh & Jan T. Wollenberg, 2019. "Informing Policy Priorities using Inference from Life Satisfaction Responses in a Large Community Survey," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 911-924, September.
    9. Clark, Andrew E. & Lee, Tom, 2021. "Early-life correlates of later-life well-being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 360-368.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mental health; life-satisfaction; wellbeing; poverty; unemployment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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