How Does Income Inequality Affect the Mental Health of the Elderly in Developing Countries

By: Sha Fan  

This paper considers the impact of variables at three different levels – city, community, and individual – on the mental health of the elderly in China. The paper first sets out a theoretical framework emphasizing the relevance of city-level factors for an individual’s mental health. Evidence shows that income inequality and public health investment at the city-level exacerbates and reduces depression respectively. But these have no impact on depression when community-level factors such as infrastructure and health facilities are included in the model. Rural elderly females aged between 60-74 years are also more susceptible to depression and Chinese elderly who are underweight and smokers rather than drinkers are also more depressed. Understanding these complexities can provide policy options to targeted either the regional or community level but not both, thereby avoiding resource misallocation.

Medical Perspectives on Aging, Health, Wellness
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Sha Fan

Queensland, Australia

I'm a Ph.D. candidate in economics at the University of Queensland with the research area in development economic topics, like well-being, inequality, poverty alleviation and China Economy. My areas of expertise include cross-sectional data analysis, panel data analysis, and multilevel modeling. I have worked on a range of applications in social science problems like social capital, health, and aging. I was trained before in Beijing Normal University and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, also, used to work as a consultant at the Asian Development Bank.