Income Shocks and Adolescent Mental Health

Type Journal Article - Journal of Human Resources
Title Income Shocks and Adolescent Mental Health
Volume 48
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 370-403
We investigate the effects of a positive income shock on mental health among adolescent girls using evidence from a cash transfer experiment in Malawi. Offers of cash transfers strongly reduced psychological distress among baseline schoolgirls. However, these large beneficial effects declined with increases in the transfer amount offered to the parents conditional on regular school attendance by the adolescent girls. Improved physical health, increased school attendance, personal consumption, and leisure contributed to the effects. There was also strong evidence of increased psychological distress among untreated baseline schoolgirls in treatment areas. All of these effects dissipated soon after the program ended.

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