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Cultural Access and Mental Health: An Exploratory Study

Alessandro Crociata (), Massimiliano Agovino and Pier Sacco

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2014, vol. 118, issue 1, 219-233

Abstract: Loss of well-being, rising rates of depression and various psychological illnesses are a public health concern. This study aims to explore the associations between cultural access and mental illness. Applying a panel methodology to the 20 Italian regions (2002–2007 period) the relationship between public health expenditure per-capita (the dependent variable) and hospital discharge rates for different illnesses (the regressors) has been estimated. Then the impact of the private spending in culture (the regressors) on the mental illness—as approximated by the discharge rate for mental illness—(the dependent variable), has been verified via generalised method of moments (GMM) approach. Data came from the National Census of the Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). The results of empirical analysis have highlighted how the discharge rate for mental illness is substantially improved by some forms of cultural consumptions. The coefficients associated with unemployment rates (the control variables) have a positive impact on mental illness, thus suggesting that unemployment has an impact on the discharge rate for mental illness; the greatest impact is observed for the long-term unemployment rate. The results are beneficial for designing and implementing preventive strategies to reduce mental illness and public health expenditure by considering the impact of cultural access. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Keywords: Public health policy; Mental health; Cultural access; Socioeconomic factors; Panel data model; GMM estimator (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1007/s11205-013-0426-4

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