Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Business & Economics

Faculty Mentor

Andrew Economopoulos


Presented during the 24th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 22, 2022 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

To see if the free market affects our economy in a detrimental way, income inequality and mental illness are examined. Literature discussing the free market and its association with income inequality, as well as how income inequality and mental health are interrelated are touched upon. Data was collected from the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom and Our World in Data to test for associations between economic freedom and the percentage of population estimated to have mental health and/or substance use disorders. Findings were not strong, although literature highlights a pathway between free markets and mental health by way of income inequality. Based on the data, it can be concluded that the free market does not impact mental health in a detrimental way as hypothesized; mental illness is not created by the free market.


Available to Ursinus community only.