Faress Bhuiyan, Assistant Professor of Economics, published a book chapter in Alleviating World Suffering: The Challenge of Negative Quality of Life, (2017) edited by Ron Anderson. The paper titled, “Alleviating Mental Suffering in Rural Bangladesh: Evidence from a Survey of Three Villages,” investigates the sources of two types of self-reported mental suffering in rural Bangladesh: feeling worried and feeling depressed.
There are three primary findings:
- First, standard socioeconomic and demographic dimensions do not predict self-reported mental suffering, specifically worry and depression.
- Second, physical health, age, and marital status are statistically significant contributors. Middle-aged, unhealthy, and never married household heads tend to worry and feel depressed more.
- Third, perceived relative economic standing compared to neighbors and siblings affects mental suffering.
From a policy standpoint, improving health amenities will alleviate mental suffering as well as physical suffering while reducing income inequality alleviates mental suffering for both the rich and the poor.