Do More of Those in Misery Suffer from Poverty, Unemployment or Mental Illness?

32 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2015

See all articles by Sarah Fleche

Sarah Fleche

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Richard Layard

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

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Date Written: August 2015

Abstract

Studies of deprivation usually ignore mental illness. This paper uses household panel data from the USA, Australia, Britain and Germany to broaden the analysis. We ask first how many of those in the lowest levels of life-satisfaction suffer from unemployment, poverty, physical ill health, and mental illness. The largest proportion suffer from mental illness. Multiple regression shows that mental illness is not highly correlated with poverty or unemployment, and that it contributes more to explaining the presence of misery than is explained by either poverty or unemployment. This holds both with and without fixed effects.

Keywords: Mental health, life-satisfaction, wellbeing, poverty, unemployment

JEL Classification: I1, I31, I32

Suggested Citation

Fleche, Sarah and Layard, Richard, Do More of Those in Misery Suffer from Poverty, Unemployment or Mental Illness? (August 2015). SOEPpaper No. 784, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2651138 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2651138

Sarah Fleche (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Richard Layard

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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