Location of Repository

Psychiatric Disorders and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the National Latino and Asian American Study

By Pinka Chatterji, Margarita Alegria, Mingshan Lu and David Takeuchi


This paper investigates to what extent psychiatric disorders and mental distress affect labor market outcomes among ethnic minorities of Latino and Asian descent, most of whom are immigrants. Using data from the National Latino and Asian American Study, we examine the labor market effects of meeting diagnostic criteria for any psychiatric disorder in the past 12 months as well as the effects of psychiatric distress in the past year. Among Latinos, psychiatric disorders and mental distress are associated with detrimental effects on employment and absenteeism, similar to effects found in previous analyses of mostly white, American born populations. Among Asians, we find mixed evidence that psychiatric disorders and mental distress detract from labor market outcomes.

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles



  1. (1997). Alcohol and earnings: Does drinking yield a wage premium?
  2. (1997). and skill: Interracial wage differences among AfricanAmericans, Latinos and Whites. Review of Black Political
  3. (1991). As assessment of measurement error bias for estimating the effect of mental distress on income.
  4. (1995). Binary outcomes and endogenous explanatory variables: tests and solutions with an application to the demand for contraceptive use in Tunisia. Demography
  5. (2004). Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employed Persons by occupation, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and sex.
  6. Census Bureau projects tripling of Hispanic and Asian populations in 50 years: non-Hispanic whites may drop to half of total population. Accessed at http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/001720.html on 9/1/2004.
  7. (2000). Chronic physical illness, psychiatric disorder and disability in the workplace.
  8. Comparisons between the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and the present state examination.
  9. (2004). Considering context, place and culture: the National Latino and Asian American study."
  10. (1999). Depression in the workplace: Effects on short-term disability. Health Affairs
  11. (1995). Differences in incidences of absenteeism and discipline between Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese employees.
  12. (1996). Do drinkers earn less.
  13. (2004). Does drinking affect employment? Evidence from England. Health Economics
  14. (1997). Down and out: estimating the relationship between mental health and unemployment. Health Economics
  15. (2003). Econometric Analysis, Fifth Edition. Upper Saddle River,
  16. (2001). Effect of Insurance on Mortality in an HIV-Positive Population in Care.
  17. (1994). Emotional disability days: Prevalence and predictors.
  18. (1988). English language ability and the labor market opportunities of Hispanic and East Asian immigrant men.
  19. (2001). Estimating the employment and earnings costs of mental illness: recent developments in the United States.
  20. (2001). Ethnic disparities in unmet need for alcoholism, drug abuse and mental health care.
  21. (1974). experience, and earnings.
  22. (1995). Finishing high school and starting college: Do catholic schools make a difference.
  23. (2000). Giving means receiving: the protective effect of social capital on binge drinking on college campuses.
  24. (2000). How much does social capital add to individual health? A survey study of Russians. Social Science and Medicine
  25. (1967). Human capital and the personal distribution of income: an analytical approach.
  26. (2002). Illegal drug use and employment.
  27. Institute, The foreign born in the US labor force: Numbers and trends. Accessed at www.migrationpolicy.org/ foreignborninuslaborforce.pdf,
  28. (1997). Instrumental variables regression with weak instruments. Econometrica
  29. (2001). Labor force projections to 2010: steady growth and changing composition. Monthly Labor Review
  30. (2001). Labor supply of poor residents in metropolitan Miami, Florida: The role of depression and the co-morbid effects of substance use.
  31. (1989). Life-cycle effects of alcoholism on education, earnings, and occupation. Inquiry
  32. (2002). Mental health and work: Impact, issues, and good practices. World Health Organization and International Labor Organization, Accessed on-line at www.who.int/mental_health/media/en/712.pdf#search=' policy%20and%20workplace%2 0and%20mental%20illness,
  33. (2004). Mental Health Survey Consortium. Prevalence, severity, and unmet need for treatment of mental disorders in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys.
  34. (1999). Mental Health: a report of the Surgeon General. Washington DC: Health and Human Services Department
  35. (1992). of Mental Health (NIMH). The economic cost of mental illness,
  36. (1998). Organization. Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHO-DAS II) Geneva: World Health Organization,
  37. (1998). Perceptions of absence from work: People’s Republic of China versus Canada.
  38. (1995). Problems with instrumental variables estimation when the correlation between the instruments and the endogenous explanatory variables is weak.
  39. (1994). Reliability and validity studies of the WHO - Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI): A critical review. Psychiatry Research
  40. Sample designs and sampling methods for the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies (CPES).
  41. (2002). Short screening scales to monitor population prevalences and trends in non-specific psychological distress. Psychological Medicine
  42. (2002). Social capital and mental health.
  43. (2001). Social environments and health: a cross sectional survey.
  44. Statistics. Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, http://stats.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.pdf, accessed 10/04.
  45. Statistics. Employed persons by occupation, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and sex, http://stats.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat10.pdf, accessed 10/04.
  46. (2004). Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: Problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors.
  47. (1990). The distribution of the instrumental variables estimator and its T-Statistic when the instrument is a poor one.
  48. (2002). The effect of alcohol consumption on earnings. Economic Record
  49. (1996). The global burden of disease and injury series, volume 1: a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020.
  50. (1997). The impact of psychiatric disorders on labor market outcomes. Industrial and Labor Relations Review
  51. (1997). The impact of psychiatric disorders on work loss days. Psychological Medicine
  52. (1994). The National Comorbidity Survey of the United States. International Review of Psychiatry
  53. (1967). The production of human capital and the life cycle of earnings.
  54. (2002). The social causes of schizophrenia: an investigation into the influence of social cohesion and social hostility. Schizophrenia Research
  55. (1985). Unemployment and mental health: some evidence from panel data.
  56. (1996). unemployment, and problem drinking.
  57. (2002). Unequal Treatment: Confronting racial and ethnic disparities in health care Washington: D.C.: The National Academies Press,
  58. (1998). Workplace performance effects from chronic depression and its treatment.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.