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Title:Sheepskin or Prozac: the causal effect of education on mental health PDF Logo
Authors:Chevalier, Arnaud
Feinstein, Leon
Issue Date:2006
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 2231
Abstract:Mental illness is associated with large costs to individuals and society. Education improves various health outcomes but little work has been done on mental illness. To obtain unbiased estimates of the effect of education on mental health, we rely on a rich longitudinal dataset that contains health information from childhood to adulthood and thus allow us to control for fixed effects in mental health. We measure two health outcomes: malaise score and depression and estimate the extensive and intensive margins of education on mental health using various estimators. For all estimators, accounting for the endogeneity of education augments its protecting effect on mental health. We find that the effect of education is greater at mid-level of qualifications, for women and for individuals at greater risk of mental illness. The effects of education are observed at all ages, additionally education also reduces the transition to depression. These results suggest substantial returns to education in term of improved mental health.
Subjects:returns to education
mental health
JEL:I12
I29
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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