Adolescent antidepressant use and academic achievement

N. Meltem Daysal (University of Copenhagen)
Abstract: We investigate impacts of antidepressant treatment on academic achievement among Danish children who are referred to a child psychiatrist. Leveraging quasi-random assignment of patients to psychiatrists with different prescribing tendencies, we find that treatment significantly increases test scores, especially in math and among girls. Treatment effects are larger among children of less educated mothers who, in general, are less likely to be treated, indicating negative selection on gains based on observables. However there is positive selection on gains based on unobservables. As a result, the effect of treatment on the treated exceeds the average treatment effect, but the effect of treatment on the untreated is positive, suggestive of under-prescribing of SSRI for children. 

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February 25, 2022 - 15:00