NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Mallesh Pai

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2015Mental Health Stigma
with Prashant Bharadwaj, Agne Suziedelyte: w21240
Comparing self-reports to administrative data records on diagnosis and prescription drug use, we find that survey respondents under-report mental health conditions 36% of the time when asked about diagnosis and about 20% of the time when asked about prescription drug use. Survey respondents are significantly less likely to under-report other conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. This behavior is consistent with a model in which mental health illnesses are stigmatized and agents have incentives to hide such traits from others. We show that differential under-reporting of depression is correlated with age, gender, and ethnicity and that these characteristics also predict a lower probability of mental health treatment, suggesting that stigma can play an important role in determining he...

Published: Prashant Bharadwaj & Mallesh M. Pai & Agne Suziedelyte, 2017. "Mental health stigma," Economics Letters, vol 159, pages 57-60.

 
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