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Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability

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  • Bijwaard, Govert

    ()
    (NIDI - Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute)

  • van Kippersluis, Hans

    ()
    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Veenman, Justus

    ()
    (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 between 1937 and 1941, 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 at least half of the unconditional survival differences between educational groups are due to a 'selection effect', primarily on basis of cognitive ability. Conditional survival differences across those having finished just primary school and those entering secondary education are still substantial, and amount to a 4 years gain in life expectancy, on average.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7648.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7648

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Keywords: education; cognitive ability; mortality; structural equation model; duration model;

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  1. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2012. "Education, Health and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment," Research Papers in Economics 2012:4, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  3. 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 2011-002, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  4. Gabriella Conti & James Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "The Education-Health Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 234-38, May.
  5. Nils Braakmann, 2010. "The causal relationship between education, health and health related behaviour: Evidence from a natural experiment in England," Working Paper Series in Economics 190, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Gathmann, Christina & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2012. "Compulsory Schooling Reforms, Education and Mortality in Twentieth Century Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 6403, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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.
  9. Robert Kaestner & Kevin Callison, 2011. "Adolescent Cognitive and Noncognitive Correlates of Adult Health," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 29 - 69.
  10. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch82-1, October.
  11. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Introduction to "Economic Aspects of Health"," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Joop Hartog & Hessel Oosterbeek, 1997. "Health, Wealth and Happiness: Why pursue a Higher Education?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-034/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  14. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "Early endowments, education, and health," Working Papers 2011-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  15. Albouy, Valerie & Lequien, Laurent, 2009. "Does compulsory education lower mortality?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 155-168, January.
  16. Jan S. Cramer, 2012. "Childhood Intelligence and Adult Mortality, and the Role of Socio-Economic Status," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-070/4, Tinbergen Institute, revised 30 Oct 2013.
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