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Title: Antidepressant use and school academic achievement (with Meltem Daysal and Mircea Trandafir) Abstract: We investigate impacts of antidepressant treatment on academic achievement among Danish children who are referred to a child psychiatrist. Leveraging conditional random assignment of patients to psychiatrists with different prescribing tendencies, we find that treatment significantly increases test scores, particularly in math. We show that the increase in test scores is meaningful in terms of its projected impact on income and contact with the police. 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. Further analysis of marginal treatment effects and policy simulations for the test score outcome indicate under-prescribing. In view of controversy over the side effects of antidepressants in children, we investigate emergency room visits.
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