Antidepressants and Age

31 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2011

See all articles by David G. Blanchflower

David G. Blanchflower

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Stirling - Department of Economics

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Antidepressants as a commodity have been remarkably little-studied by economists. This study shows in new data for 27 European countries that 8% of people (and 10% of those middle-aged) take antidepressants each year. The probability of antidepressant use is greatest among those who are middle-aged, female, unemployed, poorly educated, and divorced or separated. A hill-shaped age pattern is found. The adjusted probability of using antidepressants reaches a peak – approximately doubling – in people’s late 40s. This finding is consistent with, and provides a new and independent form of corroboration of, recent claims in the research literature that human well-being follows a U-shape through life.

Keywords: well-being, aging, mental health, depression, happiness, Easterlin paradox

JEL Classification: well, aging, mental, health, depression, happiness

Suggested Citation

Blanchflower, David G. and Oswald, Andrew J., Antidepressants and Age. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5785. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1872733

David G. Blanchflower (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2536 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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