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Title: Essays on the socio-economic determinants of mental health
Author: Kronenberg, Christoph
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 4960
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2017
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One in four adults in the UK experience mental health problems at some point in their life. Mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK since mental illness predominantly affects working age individuals. Therefore, this thesis seeks to contribute to the evidence base on socio-economic determinants of mental health with a focus on education, training and wages. Chapter 2 examines the association between education and mental health. Changes to the compulsory school leaving age in the UK are used to test the causality of the association between education and mental health. No evidence of a causal effect of education and mental health is found. Chapter 3 investigates the relationship between work-related training and mental health. The human capital - mental health literature is limited to education as a proxy of human capital. This chapter adds to the literature by analysing the relationship between training, as a proxy for human capital, and mental health and finds a strong association between training and mental health. Chapter 4 analyses the effects of wages on mental health. The introduction of the National Minimum Wage in the UK in April 1999 is used as an exogenous variation in wages. This chapter finds no evidence of an impact of the introduction of the National Minimum Wage on mental health. The results in chapter 2, seen in the context of the wider literature, point towards early childhood interventions as more promising policy avenues for improving mental health. Chapter 3 and 4 find at best modest results for the effect of work-related training and wages. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that employment is good for mental health. It appears policymakers should focus on getting and sustaining individuals with mental health problems in employment rather than adjusting wages or training regulations.
Supervisor: Jacobs, Rowena Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available