The Long-run Effects of Peers on Mental Health

Kiessling, Lukas and Norris, Jonathan (2020) The Long-run Effects of Peers on Mental Health. Discussion paper. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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    Abstract

    This paper studies how peers in school affect students’ mental health. Guided by a theoretical framework, we find that increasing students’ relative ranks in their cohorts by one standard deviation improves their mental health by 6% of a standard deviation conditional on own ability. These effects are more pronounced for low-ability students, persistent for at least 14 years, and carry over to economic long-run outcomes. Moreover, we document a strong asymmetry: Students who receive negative rather than positive shocks react more strongly. Our findings therefore provide evidence on how the school environment can have long-lasting consequences for the well-being of individuals.

    ORCID iDs

    Kiessling, Lukas and Norris, Jonathan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9603-8481;