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Education, Health and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment

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  • Costas Meghir
  • Mårten Palme
  • Emilia Simeonova

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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17932.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17932

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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. Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2001. "Income Security Programs and Retirement in Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 422, Stockholm School of Economics.
  3. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  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. 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.
  6. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. 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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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Leuven, Edwin & Plug, Erik & Rønning, Marte, 2014. "Education and Cancer Risk," IZA Discussion Papers 7956, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. G. Brunello & M. Fort & N. Schneeweis & R. Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors?," Working Papers wp788, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. repec:dgr:uvatin:2013044 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.

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