The Fda and Abcs: The Unintended Consequences of Antidepressant Warnings on Human Capital

50 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011 Last revised: 14 Aug 2022

See all articles by Susan H. Busch

Susan H. Busch

Yale University - Department of Health Policy and Management

Ezra Golberstein

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Ellen Meara

Harvard Medical School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2011

Abstract

Using annual cross-sectional data on over 100,000 adolescents aged 12-17, we studied academic and behavioral outcomes among those who were and were not likely affected by FDA warnings regarding the safety of antidepressants. Just before the FDA warnings, adolescents with probable depression had grade point averages 0.14 points higher than adolescents with depression just after the warnings. The FDA warnings also coincided with increased delinquency, use of tobacco and illicit drugs. Together, our results stress the importance of mental health and its treatment as an input into cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of human capital.

Suggested Citation

Busch, Susan H. and Golberstein, Ezra and Meara, Ellen, The Fda and Abcs: The Unintended Consequences of Antidepressant Warnings on Human Capital (September 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17426, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931197

Susan H. Busch (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

New Haven, CT
United States

Ezra Golberstein

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Ellen Meara

Harvard Medical School ( email )

Department of Health Care Policy
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-432-3537 (Phone)
617-432-0173 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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