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Natural Disasters and Mental Health: A Quantile approach

Nadezhda Baryshnikova and Ngoc Pham ()
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Ngoc Pham: School of Economics, University of Adelaide

No 2019-03, School of Economics Working Papers from University of Adelaide, School of Economics

Abstract: Mental health has been recently declared a global priority by the World Bank and World Health Organization. This article investigates heterogeneity in the effect of experiencing natural disasters on mental health. Using population representative longitudinal data from Australia, we find that home owners generally show a reduction in mental health score after a disaster. While the average effect for those that do not own a house is zero, the quantile approach reveals that there is a strong negative effect in the lowest two quantiles of the distribution for the non-owners. The results suggest that policies targeted at home owners and the lowest mental health non-owners (rather than only at the economically poorest) would help mitigate mental health consequences attributable to natural disaster exposure.

Keywords: quantile treatment effects; mental health; disasters; home owners; panel data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 C23 I31 Q54 R2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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