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Can a shift of neighborhoods affect mental health? Evidence from a quasi-random allocation of applicants in the public social housing system

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  • Boje-Kovacs, Bence
  • Greve, Jane
  • Weatherall, Cecilie Dohlmann

Abstract

Mental health problems generate vast pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs for the individual, for relatives, and for society. Living in deprived neighborhoods has been shown to influence, among other things, labor market outcomes and crime. Therefore, we explore how living in a deprived neighborhood with different characteristics influences the mental health of the residents. We utilize a quasi-random allocation of applicants into different neighborhoods through the public social housing (PSH) office to estimate the effect on mental health of living in a deprived neighborhood. The applicants entitled to PSH are lower-income residents with both an urgent housing problem and social problems. Our results suggest that being exposed to a deprived neighborhood as an adult has a significant negative impact on mental health among vulnerable men. We find that besides the usual characteristics of a deprived neighborhood—i.e., high shares of people without employment and with low income—the share of people with mental health problems is an important characteristic of the neighborhood that has a negative impact on mental health among men.

Suggested Citation

  • Boje-Kovacs, Bence & Greve, Jane & Weatherall, Cecilie Dohlmann, 2018. "Can a shift of neighborhoods affect mental health? Evidence from a quasi-random allocation of applicants in the public social housing system," MPRA Paper 88929, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:88929
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deprived neighborhood; mental health; prescription of psychiatric medication; quasi-random allocation; administrative registry panel data; intention-to-treat; treatment on the treated; neighborhood characteristics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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