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Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability

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  • Govert Bijwaard

    (NIDI, The Hague, IZA, Bonn)

  • Hans van Kippersluis

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Justus Veenman

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

We aim to disentangle the relative contributions of (i) cognitive ability, and (ii) education on health and mortality using a structural equation model suggested by Conti et al. (2010). We extend their model by allowing for a duration dependent variable, and an ordinal educational variable. Data come from a Dutch cohort born around 1940, including detailed measures of cognitive ability and family background at age 12. The data are subsequently linked to the mortality register 1995-2011, such that we observe mortality between ages 55 and 75. The results suggest that the treatment effect of education(i.e. the effect of entering secondary school as opposed to leaving school after primary education) is positive and amounts to a 4 years gain in life expectancy, on average. Decomposition results suggest that the raw survival differences between educational groups are about equally split between a 'treatment effect' of education, and a 'selection effect' on basis of cognitive ability and family background.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 13-044/V.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20130044

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

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Keywords: Education; Cognitive Ability; Mortality; Structural Equation Model; Duration Model;

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  1. Braakmann, Nils, 2011. "The causal relationship between education, health and health related behaviour: Evidence from a natural experiment in England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 753-763, July.
  2. Hans van Kippersluis, & Owen O’Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2011. "Long-Run Returns to Education: Does Schooling Lead to an Extended Old Age?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 695-721.
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  7. Gabriella Conti & James Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "The Education-Health Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 234-38, May.
  8. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2005. "Does education cause better health? A panel data analysis using school reforms for identification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 149-160, April.
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  10. James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Sergio Urzua & Gregory Veramendi, 2010. "The effects of educational choices on labor market, health, and social outcomes," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2011-002, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  11. Jan S. Cramer, 2012. "Childhood Intelligence and Adult Mortality, and the Role of Socio-Economic Status," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers, Tinbergen Institute 12-070/4, Tinbergen Institute, revised 30 Oct 2013.
  12. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Introduction to "Economic Aspects of Health"," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "Early endowments, education, and health," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2011-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  14. Robert Kaestner, 2009. "Adolescent Cognitive and Non-cognitive Correlates of Adult Health," NBER Working Papers 14924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
  16. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch82-1.
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