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The long-run effects of peers on mental health

Lukas Kiessling () and Jonathan Norris ()
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Jonathan Norris: Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde

No 2006, Working Papers from University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper studies how peers in school affect students’ mental health. Guided by a theoretical framework, we find that increasing students’ relative ranks in their cohorts by one standard deviation improves their mental health by 6% of a standard deviation conditional on own ability. These effects are more pronounced for low-ability students, persistent for at least 14 years, and carry over to economic long-run outcomes. Moreover, we document a strong asymmetry: Students who receive negative rather than positive shocks react more strongly. Our findings therefore provide evidence on how the school environment can have long-lasting consequences for the well-being of individuals.

Keywords: Peer Effects; Mental Health; Depression; Rank Effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I14 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 70 pages
Date: 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
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