martes, 2 de octubre de 2012

A Cross-Country Analysis of the Risk Factors for Depression at the Micro and Macro Levels

Maximo Rossi, Universidad del Uruguay - Departamento de Economía (dECON)

Natalia MelgarUniversidad del Uruguay


Past research has provided evidence of the role of some personal characteristics (age, gender, religion) as risk factors for depression. However, few researchers have jointly examined the specific impact of each characteristic and whether country characteristics (economic performance and others environmental factors) change the probability of being depressed. In general, this is due to the use of single-country databases. The aim of this article is to extend previous findings by employing a much larger dataset and including the above-mentioned country effects. We estimate probit models with country effects (model I) and we also explore linkages between specific environmental factors and depression (model II includes variables such as per capita Gross Domestic Product and the GINI index). The dataset for this research comes from the 2007 GALLUP Public Opinion Poll that allows us to consider a large and widely heterogeneous set of micro-data. Findings indicate that depression is positively related to being a woman, adulthood, divorce, widowhood, unemployment, and low income. Moreover, we provide evidence of the significant association between economic performance and depression. Inequality raises the probability of being depressed, specially for those living in urban areas. Finally, we find that some population characteristics such as age distribution and religious affiliation facilitate depression.

Suggested Citation

Maximo Rossi and Natalia Melgar. "A Cross-Country Analysis of the Risk Factors for Depression at the Micro and Macro Levels" American Journal of Economics and Sociology 71.2 (2012): 354-376.

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