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Education, Health and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment

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  • Meghir, Costas

    ()
    (Yale University)

  • Palme, Mårten

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)

  • Simeonova, Emilia

    ()
    (Tufts University and NBER)

Abstract

We study the effect of a compulsory education reform in Sweden on adult health and mortality. The reform was implemented by municipalities between 1949 and 1962 as a social experiment and implied an extension of compulsory schooling from 7 or 8 years depending on municipality to 9 years nationally. We use detailed individual data on education, hospitalizations, labor force participation and mortality for Swedes born between 1946 and 1957. Individual level data allow us to study the effect of the education reform on three main groups of outcomes: (i) mortality until age 60 for different causes of death; (ii) hospitalization by cause and (iii) exit from the labor force primarily through the disability insurance program. The results show reduced male mortality up to age fifty for those assigned to the reform, but these gains were erased by increased mortality later on. We find similar patterns in the probability of being hospitalized and the average costs of inpatient care. Men who acquired more education due to the reform are less likely to retire early.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm University, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2012:4.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 14 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2012_0004

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Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 16 20 00
Fax: +46 8 16 14 25
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Web page: http://www.ne.su.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Causal effects of education; Compulsory schooling laws; Comprehensive school reforms; Education reform; Returns to schooling;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Cutler, David & Lleras-Muney, Adriana & Deaton, Angus, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Scholarly Articles 2640588, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Mårten Palme & Ingemar Svensson, 2004. "Income Security Programs and Retirement in Sweden," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation, pages 579-642 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Helena Holmlund, 2008. "A Researchers Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," CEE Discussion Papers 0087, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  5. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lundborg, Petter & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nystedt, Paul, 2012. "Do Socioeconomic Factors Really Explain Income-Related Inequalities in Health? Applying a Twin Design to Standard Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 2012:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  2. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors?," IZA Discussion Papers 5944, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Buckles, Kasey & Malamud, Ofer & Morrill, Melinda Sandler & Wozniak, Abigail, 2012. "The Effect of College Education on Health," IZA Discussion Papers 6659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Martin Fischer & Martin Karlsson & Therese Nilsson, 2013. "Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality – Evidence from Sweden," Ruhr Economic Papers 0441, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Govert Bijwaard & Hans van Kippersluis & Justus Veenman, 2013. "Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-044/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  7. Edwin Leuven & Erik Plug & Marte Rønning, 2014. "Education and cancer risk," Discussion Papers 777, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  8. Petter Lundborg; & Anton Nilsson; & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2012. "Parental education and offspring outcomes: evidence from the Swedish compulsory schooling reform," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/12, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  9. Jon H. Fiva, & Torbjørn Hægeland & Marte Rønning & Astri Syse, 2013. "Access to treatment and educational inequalities in cancer survival," Discussion Papers 735, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  10. Carbone, Jared C. & Kverndokk, Snorre, 2014. "Individual investments in education and health," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2014:1, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
  11. Govert Bijwaard & Hans van Kippersluis & Justus Veenman, 2013. "Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-044/V, Tinbergen Institute.

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