Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Heather Antecol

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Rights Information

© 2013 Vanessa Lanuza


The existing literature finds negative associations between mental illness and labor market outcomes. Using data from the 2007 to 2011 National Health Interview Survey, this study examines the consequences of emotional (depression, anxiety, or other emotional problems) and psychological (ADD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental problems) problems on four aspects of labor market decisions: the probability of participating in the labor force, the likelihood of working full time, the average number of hours worked per week and annual earnings. In addition to analyzing the effects of either having or not having a mental illness, I also test if there is a relationship between the duration of having a mental illness and labor market behaviors. I find evidence to show that having an emotional or psychological problem has an adverse impacts on all four aspects of labor market outcomes. Additionally, the results suggest that unconditional on having a mental illness, duration has statistically significant effects on labor market behaviors, while conditional on having a mental illness, statistical significance is not as prevalent.