B4332 - Economic Determinants of Mental Health - 31/05/2023

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Anwen Zhang | University of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Professor Eugenio Proto
Title of project: 
Economic Determinants of Mental Health
Proposal summary: 

Mental health problems are globally prevalent, and made worse by Covid-19. There is a growing recognition of the roles of economic circumstances in determining mental health, however, it remains unclear how the economic circumstances at various levels (individual and household; local areas; and national) manifest differently on mental health through different channels. Based on ALSPAC data merged with local authority level information, and cutting-edge econometric methods, we will systematically examine the extensive links between mental health and economic circumstances at individual/household, local area, and national policy levels, and map out a complete and comprehensive picture of economic determinants of mental health. Our research will get to the economic roots of mental health and help answer the long-term big-picture question of how to prevent mental illness. Our research is novel on two fronts. First, we bring together economic data at micro, local, and macro levels from multiple sources to study their roles on mental health in one setting; second, we take advantage of rich and long panel data and dynamic panel modelling methods to examine dynamic and long-run effects over the life course.

Impact of research: 
We have two impact objectives. First, on policy, our research will disentangle the roles of economic environment on mental health at household, community, and policy levels. For policy makers, we research will help identify groups at risk of mental illness based on economic variables, and provide evidence on which social and economic policies work in promoting mental health. More broadly, our work will also impact policy work on subjective wellbeing, and provide insight on how mental health questionnaires can be useful as an alternative or complementary measure of subjective wellbeing. Second, to the public, our object is to clarify the public dialogue of economic root causes of mental ill health, and promote informed debate on preventing mental illness and promoting early interventions.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 15 May, 2023
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 17 May, 2023
Health Economics, Mental health, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Development, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution, Parenting