Depression Rate, GDP Growth Rate, Health Expenditure, and Voice and Accountability: Are There Co-Movements?

Depression Rate, GDP Growth Rate, Health Expenditure, and Voice and Accountability: Are There Co-Movements?

Ramesh Chandra Das (Vidyasagar University, India) and Amit Chatterjee (MIT World Peace University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2329-2.ch007


Existing studies on mental disorder reveal that, besides biological factors, major socioeconomic factors are responsible behind the ever-increasing prevalence of the part of population suffering from mental depression. The present study investigates whether depression rate has long run co-movements with growth of per capita GDP, health expenditure, and voice and accountability of the citizens for individuals as well as panels of four countries, USA, China, India, and Bangladesh, for the period 1995 to 2016. Using cointegration, error correction, and causality testing, the study observes that individual countries do not produce acceptable and robust results, but the panel data results produce long run relations among the four endogenous variables. The Wald test results show that all the two lagged values of depression rate, growth rate, health expenditure and voice and accountability are causing depression in the current period.
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Survey Of Literature

There is scanty literature on the associations between mental illness and socioeconomic factors. The present study has assembled a list of studies in the related research to justify its rationale to undertake.

Murali and Oyebode (2004) examined the direct and indirect effects of relative poverty on the development of emotional, behavioural and psychiatric problems, in the context of the growing inequality between rich and poor. They observed that children in the poorest households are three times more likely to have a mental illness than children in the best-off households. Besides, the study revealed that poverty and social disadvantage were most strongly associated with deficits in children’s cognitive skills and educational achievements. The study recommended for reducing inequality both nationally and internationally to reduce the magnitude of mental illness.

Saxena et al. (2007) discussed the general availability of the resources such as mental health services, community resources, human resources, and funding, especially in low-income and middle-income countries upon mental health of people. The study mentioned that government funding is too low and inefficient to support for mental patients. The study thus observed that scarcity of available resources, inequities in their distribution, and inefficiencies in their use caused the three main obstacles to better mental health, especially in low-income and middle-income countries.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Health Expenditure: Health is one of the most important indicators of human development and spending upon it makes a man physically and mentally fit. Health expenditure is the amount of money spent by citizens and public sector out of total income.

Causality: It is the method used in time series econometrics where the short run interplays among two or more variables are studied. In a two variable model Granger causality test is run but in a VAR model Wald test is applied to test for causality.

Cointegration: It is an econometric tool applying in time series data sets for examining long run associations among the variables of concern. It is tested upon two or more variables which are non-stationary at levels but stationary at their first differences.

Mental Depression: It is the mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest and can interfere with your daily functioning. It is characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. According to the source of the data, depression is one of the important contributors of mental disorders among people in any class of economies. Depression rate is the percentage of people out of total population suffering from that particular disease.

Per capita GDP: It is the gross domestic product per citizen. It is derived by dividing GDP (either in current or constant prices) with existing population of the country. Increase in its value leads to increase in standard of living of the citizens.

Voice and Accountability: It one of six component of governance indicator as stipulated by the World Bank. It reflects perceptions of the extent to which a country's citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and a free media. The standardized value for VA lies between +2.5 and -2.5. The +2.5 indicates the situation where there is no obstacle to expressing voice and -2.5 is the situation where people have no way of expressing their voices. The value ‘0’ is the average value of VA.

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