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The Effect of Education on Adult Mortality and Health: Evidence from Britain

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  • Damon Clark
  • Heather Royer

Abstract

There is a strong, positive, and well-documented correlation between education and health outcomes. In this paper, we attempt to understand to what extent this relationship is causal. Our approach exploits two changes to British compulsory schooling laws that generated sharp across-cohort differences in educational attainment. Using regression discontinuity methods, we find the reforms did not affect health although the reforms impacted educational attainment and wages. Our results suggest caution as to the likely health returns to educational interventions focused on increasing educational attainment among those at risk of dropping out of high school, a target of recent health policy efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2013. "The Effect of Education on Adult Mortality and Health: Evidence from Britain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2087-2120, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:6:p:2087-2120
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.6.2087
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harmon, Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 176-210, January.
    3. Ofer Malamud & Abigail K. Wozniak, 2010. "The Impact of College Education on Geographic Mobility: Identifying Education Using Multiple Components of Vietnam Draft Risk," NBER Working Papers 16463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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