Applied Economics, Development Economics, Political Economy and Happiness Economics.
The emergence of the despair death crisis in the US stimulates researchers and policymakers to look at subjective wellbeing data from a different perspective. We wonder what can be done to avoid a similar situation in Europe and to this purpose we analyse factors correlated with depression in the European Social Survey by considering the latter as a proxy of despair deaths. We find the strongest correlations with poor income, high income expectations, low education, low skilled jobs, poor social relationships, failure and shocks in affective relational life. We perform robustness checks finding that our results are robust when using alternative measures of psychological health and when instrumenting married status. If causality links between all these drivers and the dependent variable are verified and confirmed, as for marital status, we can conclude that the despair death crisis depends from a mix of material and immaterial factors (with the latter being dominant) that cannot be fully solved by mere monetary redistribution.
International Review of Economics (IREC)