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The Long-Run Effects of Peers on Mental Health

Author

Listed:
  • Lukas Kiessling

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Jonathan Norris

    () (University of Strathclyde)

Abstract

This paper studies how peers in school affect students’ mental health. Guided by a theoretical framework, we find that increasing students’ relative ranks in their cohorts by one standard deviation improves their mental health by 6% of a standard deviation conditional on own ability. These effects are more pronounced for low-ability students, persistent for at least 14 years, and carry over to economic long-run outcomes. Moreover, we document a strong asymmetry: Students who receive negative rather than positive shocks react more strongly. Our findings therefore provide evidence on how the school environment can have long-lasting consequences for the well-being of individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Lukas Kiessling & Jonathan Norris, 2020. "The Long-Run Effects of Peers on Mental Health," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2020_12, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2020_12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer Effects; Mental Health; Depression; Rank Effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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