PhD work in progress:
1) "The long-term mental health effects of forced migration: Evidence from the Evacuation of Finnish Karelia" (with Haukka, J., Martikainen P., Sarvimäki M. & Suvisaari J.)
We use the resettlement of the entire population living in areas Finland ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II as a "natural experiment" to study the long-term mental health effects of forced migration. Using nationwide hospital discharge register and drug register information on mental health and combine this with socioeconomic register data from 1939 to 2012, find that forced migration had a small protective effect against mental disorders in later life. In contrast, the self-selected group of non-displaced persons who migrated voluntarily during the same period has a higher risk of hospitalization for mental disorders than non-migrants. This difference between non-experimental and quasi-experimental results highlights the importance of an appropriate research design when measuring the impacts of migration. The results from our natural experiment indicate that migration does not lead to serious mental health problems.
2) "Mental disorders and lifetime earnings" (draft)
Mental and substance disorders are increasing its share of the global disease burden. In advanced countries, the mental well-being of adolescents and young adults is becoming a greater concern. Yet little is known about lifetime labor market costs attributable to mental disorders nor the related heterogeneity by the age of onset of psychiatric conditions. This paper contributes by documenting the lifetime labor market performance deficits related to severe mental health-related problems. Using longitudinal socio-economic and health register data with a 45-year follow-up, I document that psychiatric admission history is associated with substantial losses in labor market performance. Age of first admission matters: having the first admission one year earlier than the affected controls is associated with €10 000-13 000 loss. Overall, results provide an economic rationale for early intervention in mental illnesses as productivity deficits are larger, the earlier first psychiatric admissions emerge.
3) "Labor market performance after first psychiatric admissions"
Mental disorders are the most common reason for disability for ages below 35 and the share of disability-adjusted life years (DALY) attributable to mental and substance use disorders is increasing. There is a vast amount of literature documenting the link between mental disorders and labor market performance. However, due to the endogenous relationship between mental health and labor market performance, it is challenging or even practically impossible to find a research design that could provide an unbiased estimate for an effect. This paper provides new evidence on immediate changes in labor market outcomes following the first psychiatric admission to a health care facility. To reduce the confounding in selection to psychiatric treatment, I exploit variation in the timing of the first psychiatric admission to estimate the effect of first psychiatric treatment on labor market performance. Using Finnish administrative data, I find that psychiatric admissions lead to a drop in earnings by about \euro 1600 (15\%). The immediate change in labor market performance is greater in absolute terms for individuals with later age admissions, but these individuals also exhibit more promising signs of recovery in labor market performance.