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Article in Journal ()

Antidepressants and age: A new form of evidence for U-shaped well-being through life

Citation
Blanchflower D & Oswald AJ (2016) Antidepressants and age: A new form of evidence for U-shaped well-being through life, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 127, pp. 46-58.

Abstract
A growing literature argues that mental well-being follows an approximate U-shape through life. Yet in the eyes of some scholars this evidence remains controversial. The reason is that it relies on people’s answers to ‘happiness’ surveys. The present paper explores a different approach. It examines modern data on the use of antidepressant pills (as an implicit signal of mental distress) in 27 European nations. The regression-adjusted probability of using antidepressants reaches a peak in people’s late 40s. This pattern – one that does not rely on well-being survey answers – is thus consistent with the claim that human beings experience a midlife low.

Keywords
Well-being; Aging; Antidepressants; Mental health; Depression; Happiness; Easterlin paradox

StatusPublished
AuthorsBlanchflower David, Oswald Andrew J
Publication date07/2016
Date accepted by journal10/04/2016
PublisherElsevier
ISSN 0167-2681
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization: Volume 127

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