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Joint Behavioral Economics Workshop and Development Workshop: Frank Schilbach

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 11:15am to 12:45pm

Sage Hall, 141
Johnson Graduate School-Management, 106 Sage Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-6201, USA

Frank Schilbach, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Long-Run Effects of Psychotherapy on Depression, Beliefs, and Preferences

Abstract: We study the long-run effects of psychotherapy on mental health, self-confidence, economic preferences, and employment. We revisit participants from two clinical trials in India that randomized depressed adults to a brief course of  psychotherapy, costing only $66 per recipient and delivered by non-specialists, or to a control condition. Three to five years after treatment ended, we find significantly reduced depression scores, increased remission from depression, and improved mood in the treatment group. Motivated by hypotheses in psychology, we next examine the relationship between depression, self-confidence and belief updating. We find that therapy reduced overconfidence in a work task by causing individuals to update their beliefs more evenly in response to positive and negative feedback. It also led to increases in self-evaluations of prosociality and risk tolerance.  We detect no significant impacts of treatment on patience, nor on employment or consumption.

We do not have a draft paper that is ready to be circulated.


We strongly encourage in-person attendance in 141 Sage. However, we recognize that there will be Covid-related reasons why people sometimes cannot attend in-person, and thus a remote attendance option will also be available.

If you are interested in participating in this seminar, please register at:

Note: If you have previously registered for the Fall 2021 Behavioral Economics Workshop, there is no need to re-register. Please note that registration is limited to the Cornell community.


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Event Type

Seminar, Class/ Workshop




economics, EconSeminar, EconBehave, EconDevelop

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Ulrike Kroeller

Contact Phone



Frank Schilbach

Speaker Affiliation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Open To

Cornell Economics Commnity (List Service Mambers)