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How do changes in income, employment and health insurance affect family mental health spending?

Irina B. Grafova (), Alan C. Monheit and Rizie Kumar
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Irina B. Grafova: Rutgers University School of Public Health
Alan C. Monheit: Rutgers University School of Public Health and National Bureau of Economic Research
Rizie Kumar: Rutgers University School of Public Health

Review of Economics of the Household, 2020, vol. 18, issue 1, No 11, 239-263

Abstract: Abstract Using eight two-year panels from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data for the period 2004 to 2012, we examine the effect of economic shocks on mental health spending by families with children. Estimating two-part expenditure models within the correlated random effects framework, we find that employment shocks have a greater impact on mental health spending than do income or health insurance shocks. Our estimates reveal that employment gains are associated with a lower likelihood of family mental health services utilization. By contrast employment losses are positively related to an increase in total family mental health. We do not detect a link between economic shocks and mental health spending on behalf of fathers.

Keywords: Mental health; Mental health spending; Economic shocks; Family financial status (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 D1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-018-9436-y

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