NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD

Janet Currie, Mark Stabile

NBER Working Paper No. 10435
Issued in April 2004
NBER Program(s):   ED   HE   CH

One in five U.S. youngsters has a mental disorder, but we know little about the effects of these disorders on outcomes. We examine U.S. and Canadian children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the most common child mental health problem. Our innovations include the use of large nationally representative samples of children, the use of questions administered to all children rather than focusing only on diagnosed cases, and the use of sibling fixed effects to control for omitted variables. We find large negative effects on test scores and schooling attainment suggesting that mental health conditions are a more important determinant of average outcomes than physical health conditions.

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This paper was revised on February 8, 2006

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10435

Published: Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November. citation courtesy of

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