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Mental Health in Childhood and Human Capital

  • Janet Currie
  • Mark Stabile

Although mental disorders are common among children, we know little about their long term effects on child outcomes. This paper examines U.S. and Canadian children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, conduct disorders, and other behavioral problems. Our work offers a number of innovations. First we use large nationally representative samples of children from both countries. Second, we focus on "screeners" that were administered to all children in our sample, rather than on diagnosed cases. Third, we address omitted variables bias by estimating sibling-fixed effects models. Fourth, we examine a range of outcomes. Fifth, we ask how the effects of mental health conditions are mediated by family income and maternal education. We find that mental health conditions, and especially ADHD, have large negative effects on future test scores and schooling attainment, regardless of family income and maternal education.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13217.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13217.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Publication status: published as Mental Health in Childhood and Human Capital , Janet Currie, Mark Stabile. in The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective , Gruber. 2009
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13217
Note: CH HC LS
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  1. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 2006. "Selective Counteroffers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 385-410, July.
  2. Cullen, Julie Berry, 2003. "The impact of fiscal incentives on student disability rates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1557-1589, August.
  3. Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Child development and success or failure in the youth labour market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20261, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  5. Curtis, Lori & Phipps, Shelley, 2004. "Social transfers and the health status of mothers in Norway and Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(12), pages 2499-2507, June.
  6. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
  7. Korenman, Sanders & Miller, Jane E. & Sjaastad, John E., 1995. "Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 127-155.
  8. Alison Evans Cuellar & Sara Markowitz & Anne M. Libby, 2003. "The Relationships between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Martin Dooley & Jennifer Stewart, 2007. "Family income, parenting styles and child behavioural-emotional outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 145-162.
  10. Lori Curtis & Martin D. Dooley & Ellen L. Lipman & David H. Feeny, . "The Role of Permanent Income and Family Structure in the Determination of Child Health in the Ontario Child Health Study," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 16, McMaster University.
  11. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2006. "Explaining Intergenerational Income Persistence: Non-cognitive Skills, Ability and Education," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/146, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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