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Health, schooling and lifestyle among young adults in Finland

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Author Info

  • Unto Häkkinen

    (Centre for Health Economics at STAKES (CHESS), Finland)

  • Marjo-Riitta Järvelin
  • Gunnar Rosenqvist
  • Jaana Laitinen

    (Oulu Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Finland)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This was a longitudinal, general population study based on a Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, using a structural equation approach to estimate the health production function and health input functions for four lifestyle variables (smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise and unhealthy diet) for males and females. In particular, we examined the productive and allocative effects of education on health. We used 15D, a generic measure of health-related quality of life, as a single index score measure but we also estimated models for some of its dimensions. Among the males, the important factors impacting on health were education and all the four lifestyle factors, as well as some exogenous variables at 31 years and variables describing parents' background, and health and behaviour at 14 years. An increase of five years in schooling increased the health score by 0.008, of which about 50% was due to direct effect and 50% due to indirect effects. Among the females, education does not impact on health, but health was affected by the use of alcohol, exercise and diet, but not by smoking. Our results indicate that policy options that increase education among men will increase their health indirectly via healthier lifestyles. However, since the total effect was rather modest and the direct effect insignificant, an increase of schooling is not a cost-effective way to increase health given the present high educational level of Finland. The young adults' and particularly women's internationally high educational status in Finland might be a reason why we find only a modest effect of schooling on health and the non-existence of such effects among women. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1123
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 1201-1216

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:11:p:1201-1216

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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    References

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    1. Paul Contoyannis & Andrea M Jones, . "Socioeconomic Status, Health and Lifestyle," Discussion Papers 01/19, Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, May.
    3. Michael Grossman, 2005. "Education and Nonmarket Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Gilleskie, Donna B. & Harrison, Amy L., 1998. "The effect of endogenous health inputs on the relationship between health and education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 279-295, June.
    5. Kemna, Harrie J. M. I., 1987. "Working conditions and the relationship between schooling and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 189-210, September.
    6. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408 Elsevier.
    7. Grossman, Michael, 2004. "The demand for health, 30 years later: a very personal retrospective and prospective reflection," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 629-636, July.
    8. Jorgen Lauridsen & Terkel Christiansen & Unto Häkkinen, 2004. "Measuring inequality in self-reported health-discussion of a recently suggested approach using Finnish data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 725-732.
    9. Muurinen, Jaana-Marja, 1982. "Demand for health: A generalised Grossman model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 5-28, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bruce Hollingsworth & Anthony Scott & Sandy Tubeuf & Florence Jusot & Damien Bricard, 2012. "Mediating Role Of Education And Lifestyles In The Relationship Between Early‐Life Conditions And Health: Evidence From The 1958 British Cohort," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21, pages 129-150, 06.
    2. Fredrik Ødegaard & Pontus Roos, 2013. "Measuring Worksite Health Promotion Programs: an application of Structural Equation Modeling with ordinal data," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 639-653, August.
    3. William Griffiths & Xiaohui Zhang & Xueyan Zhao, 2010. "A Stochastic Frontier Model for Discrete Ordinal Outcomes: A Health Production Function," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 3/10, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
    4. Lien Nguyen & Unto Häkkinen & Matti Knuuttila & Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, 2008. "Should we brush twice a day? Determinants of dental health among young adults in Finland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 267-286.

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