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Myopic misery: Maternal depression, child investments, and the neurobiological poverty trap

Holger Strulik ()

No 294, Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers from University of Goettingen, Department of Economics

Abstract: In this paper, I explore in an overlapping generations framework, a mechanism motivating a neurobiological poverty trap. Poverty causes stress and depression in individuals susceptible to depression. Poor and depressed individuals discount the future at a higher rate and invest less in the human capital of their children than mentally healthy or rich individuals. This gene-environment interaction generates a vicious cycle in which poor individuals inherit not only susceptibility to depression but also stress and poverty. I show that a successful one-time intervention has the power to permanently eliminate the neurobiological poverty trap.

Keywords: child investment; development; depression; discounting; intergenerational transmission; gene-environment interaction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O12 O15 D10 D91 I15 I25 I30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge, nep-hpe and nep-neu
Date: 2016
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/147421/1/872122530.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: MYOPIC MISERY: MATERNAL DEPRESSION, CHILD INVESTMENTS, AND THE NEUROBIOLOGICAL POVERTY TRAP (2019) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:cegedp:294

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