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Health and education: Understanding the gradient

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  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

This study presents a novel view on education and health behavior of individuals constrained by aging bodies. The aging process, i.e. the accumulation of health deficits over time, is built on recent insights from gerontology. The loss of body functionality, which eventually leads to death, can be accelerated by unhealthy behavior and delayed through health expenditure. Education is endogenous and determined, among others thing, by cognitive ability. The proposed theory rationalizes why better educated persons optimally choose a healthier lifestyle. The model is calibrated for the average male US citizen. In the benchmark case a difference in cognitive ability that motivates one more year of education leads to an increase of longevity by about half a year. Progress in medical technology explains why the education gradient gets larger over time. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Goettingen, Department of Economics in its series Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers with number 172.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:172

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Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/
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Keywords: schooling; aging; longevity; health expenditure; unhealthy behavior; smoking;

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Cited by:
  1. Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "Long-run trends of human aging and longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 1303-1323, October.

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