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Parental depressive symptoms and the child labor-schooling nexus: evidence from Mexico

Björn Nilsson ()

No DT/2017/06, Working Papers from DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation)

Abstract: Research in psychology has suggested that parental depression translates into bad parenting and worsened behavioral outcomes for children. In this article, I look at the e ect of depression on child education and labor outcomes in Mexico. Using a rich panel data set and making use of violent assault as a source of exogenous variation in depressive symptoms, I estimate the impact of a shock to parents' mental health on a series of child outcomes. The ndings suggest that worsened parental mental health increases the probability of grade repetition and market work for children. The e ects are not driven by those children whose parents had the worst mental health status at the onset of the survey, and are robust to alternative speci - cations. Given the documented extensive underutilization of mental health services in Mexico, public interventions in this domain have the potential to come with positive externalities and be cost-ecient.

Keywords: Mental health; Parenting; Grade repetition; Child labor; Mexico. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D10 I10 I12 O54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
Date: 2017-05
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