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Socioeconomic burden of mental disorders in Spain 2006-2017

Alexandrina Stoyanova () and Jaime Pinilla Domínguez ()
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Alexandrina Stoyanova: Universitat de Barcelona
Jaime Pinilla Domínguez: Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canarias

No 2019/389, UB Economics Working Papers from Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB School of Economics

Abstract: Mental health is not only the lack of mental disorders but is considered a crucial resource for overall health and well-being (including employment and productivity). The current paper tries to shed some light on the evolution of mental well-being over a period of 15 years, including the years before, during and after the most recent economic downturn. We use data coming from the Spanish National Health Surveys of 2006/2007, 2011/2012 and 2016/2017. Mental health is proxied by two measures, doctor-diagnosed mental disorder and psychological distress (based on GHQ-12). To account for the causal relationship between the two mental health indicators, we estimate a bivariate probit model. We observe different patterns of the two mental health indicators over time. Psychological distress increased during recession years, due to major risk factors as unemployment and loss of socioeconomic status. Even though the need for mental healthcare increased during the recession, the fact that fewer people were diagnosed suggests that barriers to access to mental healthcare may be aggravated during the crisis.

Keywords: Mental health; psychological distress; economic crisis; bivariate probit; Spain. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I14 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2019
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