NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The FDA and ABCs: The Unintended Consequences of Antidepressant Warnings on Human Capital

Susan Busch, Ezra Golberstein, Ellen Meara

NBER Working Paper No. 17426
Issued in September 2011
NBER Program(s):   CH   HC   HE

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17426

Published: FDA and ABCs: The Impact of Antidepressant Warnings on Human Capital (with Susan Busch and Ezra Golberstein), Journal of Human Resources, 2014, In Press.

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