The Causal Impact of Depression on Cognitive Functioning: Evidence from Europe

42 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2021

See all articles by Vahé Nafilyan

Vahé Nafilyan

King's College London - King's Business School; Government of the United Kingdom - Office for National Statistics

Mauricio Avendano

King's College London - Global Health & Social Medicine

Augustin de Coulon

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Cognitive skills are important determinants of employment and productivity in older adults. Although cognitive decline is often linked to changes in mental health, the causal nature of the association between mental illness and cognitive performance is not established. In this paper, we analyse the effect of depressive symptoms on cognitive function. Based on longitudinal data for older adults of working age, we use an instrumental variable approach to show that worsening depressive symptoms lead to a decline in cognitive skills. The economic consequences of impaired cognition caused by depressive symptoms may be a large component of mental illness's social costs.

JEL Classification: J24, I10

Suggested Citation

Nafilyan, Vahé and Avendano, Mauricio and de Coulon, Augustin, The Causal Impact of Depression on Cognitive Functioning: Evidence from Europe. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14049, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3771732

Vahé Nafilyan (Contact Author)

King's College London - King's Business School ( email )

150 Stamford Street
London, SE1 9NH
United Kingdom

Government of the United Kingdom - Office for National Statistics ( email )

London, SW1A 2AA
United Kingdom

Mauricio Avendano

King's College London - Global Health & Social Medicine ( email )

Strand
London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Augustin De Coulon

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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