Hermien Dijk, Jochen Mierau
University of Groningen, SOM research school,
(SOM Research Reports 2019004-EEF)
We aim to identify the age-pro<U+FB01>le of mental health while introducing minimal bias to reach identi<U+FB01>cation. Using mental health data from the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) we apply <U+FB01>rst di<U+FB00>erence estimation to derive an unbiased estimate of the second derivative of the age e<U+FB00>ect as well as an estimate up to a linear period trend of the <U+FB01>rst derivative. Next, we use a battery of estimators with varying restrictions to approximate the <U+FB01>rst derivative. We <U+FB01>nd conclusive evidence that the age pro<U+FB01>le of mental health in the US is not U-shaped and tentative evidence that the age-pro<U+FB01>le follows an inverse U-shape where individuals experience a mental health high during their life course. Further analyses, using German and Dutch data, con<U+FB01>rm that these results do not only apply to the US, but also to Germany and to the Netherlands.