Working Paper No. 1364

Peers, Gender, and Long-Term Depression

Published: October 13, 2020Pages: 40Keywords: Peer effects; Depression; Contagion; Gender; Family background; Adolescence; PolicyJEL-codes: I12; Z13

Peers, Gender, and Long-Term Depression Corrado Giulietti, Michael Vlassopoulos and Yves Zenou


This study investigates whether exposure to peer depression in adolescence affects own depression in adulthood. We find a significant long-term depression peer effect for females but not for males in a sample of U.S. adolescents who are followed into adulthood. An increase of one standard deviation of the share of own-gender peers (schoolmates) who are depressed increases the probability of depression in adulthood by 2.6 percentage points for females (or 11.5% of mean depression).

We also find that the peer effect is already present in the short term when girls are still in school and provide suggestive evidence for why it persists over time. In particular, we show that peer depression negatively affects the probability of college attendance and the likelihood of working, and leads to a reduction in income of adult females. Further analysis reveals that individuals from families with a lower socioeconomic background are more susceptible to peer influence, thereby suggesting that family can function as a buffer.


Reference:

Giulietti,Corrado, Michael Vlassopoulos and Yves Zenou (2020), "Peers, Gender, and Long-Term Depression". IFN Working Paper No. 1364. Stockholm: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

 

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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