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Myopic misery: Maternal depression, child investments, and the neurobiological poverty trap

Listed author(s):
  • Strulik, Holger

In this paper, I explore in an overlapping generations framework, a mechanism motivating a neurobiological poverty trap. Poverty causes stress and depression in individuals susceptible to depression. Poor and depressed individuals discount the future at a higher rate and invest less in the human capital of their children than mentally healthy or rich individuals. This gene-environment interaction generates a vicious cycle in which poor individuals inherit not only susceptibility to depression but also stress and poverty. I show that a successful one-time intervention has the power to permanently eliminate the neurobiological poverty trap.

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File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/147421/1/872122530.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Goettingen, Department of Economics in its series Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers with number 294.

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Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:294
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Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/

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  19. Holger Strulik & Katharina Werner, 2016. "50 is the new 30—long-run trends of schooling and retirement explained by human aging," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 165-187, June.
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