In this study, I analyze empirically the ways in which adolescent depression depresses earnings in young adulthood. I test the prominent assertions that adolescent depression is predictive of young adult depression and of lower educational attainment, both of which are, in turn, predictive of lower earnings. I then expand upon the current literature by testing the assumption that those depressed in adolescence would benefit from staying in school. To that end, I first estimate the relationship between adolescent depression and returns to education. Since one relevant alternative to educational attainment is work experience, I then estimate the relationship between adolescent depression and returns to work experience. Finally, I compare the returns to educational attainment with the returns to work experience for individuals depressed in adolescence relative to the returns for their non-depressed peers; I make this comparison first using the full sample, and then using subsamples distinguished by gender, race, and socio-economic status (SES).
"Linking Depressed Earnings to Adolescent Depression,"
Undergraduate Economic Review:
1, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/uer/vol4/iss1/10