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Education, Health and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment

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Author Info

  • Meghir, Costas

    ()
    (Yale University)

  • Palme, Mårten

    ()
    (Stockholm University)

  • Simeonova, Emilia

    ()
    (Tufts University)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6462.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6462

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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. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Determinants of Mortality," Working Papers 164, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  2. Helena Holmlund, 2008. "A Researchers Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," CEE Discussion Papers 0087, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  3. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Nichole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors?," Economics working papers 2011-06, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, revised Nov 2011.
  2. Lundborg, Petter & Nilsson, Anton & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2012. "Parental Education and Offspring Outcomes: Evidence from the Swedish Compulsory Schooling Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 6570, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2013. "Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 992, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. Edwin Leuven & Erik Plug & Marte Rønning, 2014. "Education and cancer risk," Discussion Papers 777, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  5. Kasey Buckles & Andreas Hagemann & Ofer Malamud & Melinda S. Morrill & Abigail K. Wozniak, 2013. "The Effect of College Education on Health," NBER Working Papers 19222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bijwaard, Govert & van Kippersluis, Hans & Veenman, Justus, 2013. "Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability," IZA Discussion Papers 7648, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. repec:dgr:uvatin:2013044 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Jon H. Fiva & Torbjørn Haegeland & Marte Rønning & Astri Syse, 2013. "Acess to Treatment and Educational Inequalities in Cancer Survival," CESifo Working Paper Series 4137, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  11. 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.

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