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Economics Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 278906, 16 pages
Research Article

Socioeconomic Conditions and Risk of Mental Depression: An Empirical Analysis for Brazilian Citizens

1Department of Economics, Ponta Grossa State University, Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil
2PPGEA-ESALQ-University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
3Department of Economics, ESALQ-University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil

Received 30 August 2011; Revised 8 December 2011; Accepted 16 January 2012

Academic Editor: Rati Ram

Copyright © 2012 Marcelo Justus dos Santos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study is to investigate whether there is any relationship between socioeconomic factors and mental depression, specifically in connection with family income and education. Our empirical model was estimated using the database of three National Household Sampling Surveys (1998, 2003, and 2008) and their special supplements on the health status of the Brazilian population. Analyses for men and women were conducted separately. Family income proved to be a protective factor against depression for both men and women. With regard to the effects of education, the estimates indicate that the maximum risk of depression occurs when women have approximately four years of schooling and men have about eight. Above these levels, the risk decreases as schooling years increase.