Social Media and Mental Health

Luca Braghieri, Ro'ee Levy, Alexey Makarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We provide quasi-experimental estimates of the impact of social
media on mental health by leveraging a unique natural experiment:
the staggered introduction of Facebook across US colleges. Our
analysis couples data on student mental health around the years of
Facebook’s expansion with a generalized difference-in-differences
empirical strategy. We find that the rollout of Facebook at a college
had a negative impact on student mental health. It also increased the
likelihood with which students reported experiencing impairments
to academic performance due to poor mental health. Additional evidence
on mechanisms suggests the results are due to Facebook fostering
unfavorable social comparisons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3660-3693
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Social Media and Mental Health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this