Mental health conditions are a leading cause of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and health costs worldwide: They account for 199 million DALYs or 37 percent of healthy life years lost from non-communicable diseases. The sum of direct and indirect costs worldwide were estimated to amount to 2.5 trillion US dollars in 2010 and projected to increase to 6 trillion US dollars in 2030 (Bloom et al., 2010). The heavy financial and societal burdens of mental health impairments also mean that prevention measures to alleviate these problems will have high financial and societal returns. Education has been theorized to be such a prevention measure. This DIW Roundup reviews contemporaneous research on the causal effect of education on mental health.
We acknowledge funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Förderkennzeichen: NIMOERT2). All responsibility for the content of this publication is assumed by the author.