(Breaking) Intergenerational Transmission of Mental Health
We estimate health associations across generations and dynasties using information on healthcare visits from administrative data for the entire Norwegian population. A parental mental health diagnosis is associated with a 9.3 percentage point (40%) higher probability of a mental health diagnosis of their adolescent child. Intensive margin physical and mental health associations are similar, and dynastic estimates account for about 40% of the intergenerational persistence. We also show that a policy targeting additional health resources for the young children of adults diagnosed with mental health conditions reduced the parent-child mental health association by about 40%.
We are grateful for comments by Anna Aizer, Douglas Almond and Janet Currie. We also thank seminar, workshop, and conference participants at the Causes and Consequences of Child Mental Health Conference (Princeton University), CAGE Workshop on Mental Health (Warwick University), Zeuthen Workshop on Child Health and Public Policy (University of Copenhagen), Universität Duisburg-Essen, University of Georgia, ISEG - School of Economics and Management of University of Lisbon, and Emory University. This work was partially supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence Scheme, FAIR project No 262675 and by the NORFACE DIAL grant 462-16-050. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.