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The Long-run Health Returns to College Quality

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  • Jason Fletcher
  • David Frisvold

Abstract

The link between education and health is one of the most robust empirical relationships in the social sciences. However, little research has examined the effects of educational quality on health outcomes. In this paper, we estimate the long-run effects on smoking and body mass index of graduating from a selective college in the 1960s using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, which has tracked siblings for over fifty years. Importantly, we are able to control for measures of health endowments, ability, and time preferences before the college enrollment decisions of the respondents as well as shared family and environmental factors by using sibling fixed effects. Our results suggest large effects of college selectivity on reducing overweight, but not smoking, for individuals in their 60s.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 1011.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:1011

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  1. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
  2. Fletcher Jason M. & Lehrer Steven F, 2009. "The Effects of Adolescent Health on Educational Outcomes: Causal Evidence Using Genetic Lotteries between Siblings," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-33, September.
  3. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2005. "Does education cause better health? A panel data analysis using school reforms for identification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 149-160, April.
  4. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jason M. Fletcher & David Frisvold, 2008. "Higher Education and Health Investments: Does More Schooling Affect Preventive Health Care Use?," Emory Economics 0813, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  6. Massimiliano Bratti & Alfonso Miranda, 2010. "Non‐pecuniary returns to higher education: the effect on smoking intensity in the UK," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 906-920, August.
  7. Black, Dan A. & Smith, J.A.Jeffrey A., 2004. "How robust is the evidence on the effects of college quality? Evidence from matching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 99-124.
  8. Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Effects of Weight on Children's Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2006. "How did schooling laws improve long-term health and lower mortality?," Working Paper Series WP-06-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. David Frisvold & Ezra Golberstein, 2013. "The Effect of School Quality on Black-White Health Differences: Evidence From Segregated Southern Schools," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 1989-2012, December.
  11. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
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Cited by:
  1. Fletcher, Jason M. & Frisvold, David E., 2011. "College selectivity and young adult health behaviors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 826-837, October.
  2. Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold, 2010. "College Quality and Young Adult Health Behaviors," Emory Economics 1007, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  3. Frisvold, David & Golberstein, Ezra, 2011. "School quality and the education–health relationship: Evidence from Blacks in segregated schools," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1232-1245.

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