Early life circumstance and mental health in ghana

Type Working Paper - CSAE (Centre for the study of African Economies) Working Paper WPS/2014-03
Title Early life circumstance and mental health in ghana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/13748/csae-wps-2014-03.pdf
We study the origins of adult mental health using early life income fluctuations. Combining
a time series of real producer prices of cocoa with a nationally representative
household survey in Ghana, we show that a one standard deviation rise in the cocoa
price in early life decreases the likelihood of severe mental distress in adulthood by 3
percentage points (or half the mean prevalence) for cohorts born in cocoa-producing
regions relative to other regions. Impacts on related personality traits are consistent
with this result. Maternal nutrition, reinforcing childhood investments, and adult circumstance
are operative channels of impact.

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