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The impact of education on health in China

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  • Xie, Shiqing
  • Mo, Taiping

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the causal effect of education on health using an instrumental variable approach. The instruments we employ consist of two institutional changes in China that generated discontinuities in educational attainment among individuals. To ensure the validity of the instruments and obtain prudent conclusions, we adopt more restrictive identification tests than previous studies. The results indicate no causal impact of education on either perceived health or anthropometric health. With regard to the impact of education on male health behavior, namely smoking, we cannot provide conclusive results due to a violation of the exogeneity of our instruments. Nevertheless, we can confirm that education has no causal effect on female health behavior. To overcome the widely documented shortage of quasi-experimental identification, we also employ spouse's education as an alternative instrument to examine the causal effect of education. Identical results are obtained, with the exception that the impact of education on the reduction of overweight among women becomes significant. We conclude that this provides some evidence of a causal impact of education on health.

Suggested Citation

  • Xie, Shiqing & Mo, Taiping, 2014. "The impact of education on health in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 1-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:29:y:2014:i:c:p:1-18
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2013.12.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nie, Peng & Otterbach, Steffen & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2015. "Long work hours and health in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 212-229.
    2. La, Vincent, 2014. "Does Schooling Pay? Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 54578, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Mustafa Özer & Jan Fidrmuc, 2017. "Male Education and Domestic Violence in Turkey: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Paper series 17-23, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    4. Fan, Wen, 2016. "Turning point or selection? The effect of rustication on subsequent health for the Chinese Cultural Revolution cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 68-77.
    5. Castro Campos, Bente & Ren, Yanjun & Petrick, Martin, 2016. "The impact of education on income inequality between ethnic minorities and Han in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 253-267.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Health; Instrumental variable; Compulsory education law; Spouse's education;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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