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Maternal depression and child human capital: a genetic instrumental-variable approach

Andrew Clark (), Conchita D'Ambrosio (), Simone Ghislandi, Anthony Lepinteur and Giorgia Menta ()

CEP Discussion Papers from Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

Abstract: We here address the causal relationship between maternal depression and child human capital using UK cohort data. We exploit the conditionally-exogenous variation in mothers' genomes in an instrumental-variable approach, and describe the conditions under which mother's genetic variants can be used as valid instruments. An additional episode of maternal depression between the child's birth up to age nine reduces both their cognitive and non-cognitive skills by 20 to 45% of a SD throughout adolescence. Our results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests addressing, among others, concerns about pleiotropy and the maternal transmission of genes to her child.

Keywords: mendelian randomisation; maternal depression; human capital; instrumental variables; ALSPAC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-ltv and nep-neu
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Related works:
Working Paper: Maternal depression and child human capital: A genetic instrumental-variable approach (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Maternal depression and child human capital: A genetic instrumental-variable approach (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Maternal depression and child human capital: A genetic instrumental-variable approach (2021) Downloads
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