The Transmission of Mental Health within Households: Does One Partner's Mental Health Influence the Other Partner's Life Satisfaction?

32 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2018

See all articles by Silvia Mendolia

Silvia Mendolia

University of Aberdeen

Paul McNamee

University of Aberdeen - Health Economics Research Unit

Oleg Yerokhin

University of Wollongong - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between partner's mental health and individual life satisfaction, using a sample of married and cohabitating couples from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics of Australia Survey (HILDA). We use panel data models with fixed effects to estimate the life satisfaction impact of several different measures of partner's mental health and to calculate the Compensating Income Variation (CIV) of them. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to study the effect of partner's mental health on individual's wellbeing and to measure the impact of reduced life satisfaction in monetary terms.We also provide some new insights into adaptation and coping mechanisms. Accounting for measurement error and endogeneity of income, partners' mental health has a significant and sizeable association with individual well-being. The additional income needed to compensate someone living with a partner with a long term mental condition is substantial (over USD 60,000). Further, individuals do not show significant adaptation to partners' poor mental health conditions, and coping mechanisms show little influence on life satisfaction. The results have implications for policy-makers wishing to value the wider effects of policies that aim to impact on mental health and overall levels of well-being.

Keywords: partner's health, compensating income variation, fixed effects

JEL Classification: I10, I12

Suggested Citation

Mendolia, Silvia and McNamee, Paul and Yerokhin, Oleg, The Transmission of Mental Health within Households: Does One Partner's Mental Health Influence the Other Partner's Life Satisfaction?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11431, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3158116

Silvia Mendolia (Contact Author)

University of Aberdeen ( email )

Dunbar Street
Aberdeen, Scotland AB24 3QY
United Kingdom
0044 1224 272182 (Phone)

Paul McNamee

University of Aberdeen - Health Economics Research Unit ( email )

Dunbar Street
Aberdeen, Scotland AB24 3QY
United Kingdom

Oleg Yerokhin

University of Wollongong - Department of Economics ( email )

Building 40A, Level 2
Wollongong, NSW 2522
Australia

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
13
Abstract Views
225
PlumX Metrics