The effect of mental health on U.S. County economic growth

Meri Davlasheridze, Stephan J. Goetz, Yicheol Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Poor mental health creates significant economic costs, in addition to human suffering, and is a growing world-wide concern, especially with an aging population. To estimate the cost of this disease in the U.S., we adopt a conventional economic growth model and include the number of poor mental health days (PMHD) as a right-hand side variable. Controlling for various county-level variables associated with income growth, our results suggest that one additional PMHD is associated with a 1.84 percentage point lower per capita real income growth rate, or $53 billion less total annual income, across the U.S. between 2008 and 2014. This effect is in addition to the income losses associated with the Great Recession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-171
Number of pages17
JournalReview of Regional Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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