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Individual heterogeneity and reverse causality in the relationship between migraine headache and educational attainment

  • Sabia, Joseph J.
  • Rees, Daniel I.

A recent study by Rees and Sabia (2011) found migraine headache was negatively related to educational attainment even after accounting for the influence of family-level unobservables. The current study explores whether this relationship is attributable to unmeasured individual heterogeneity in the form of personality by using non-migraine headache as a placebo. In addition, it explores the degree to which the negative relationship between migraine headache and educational attainment can be explained by reverse causality using mother's migraine status as an instrument. We conclude that the estimates reported by Rees and Sabia (2011) likely reflect the causal effect of migraine headache on educational attainment.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 913-923

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:913-923
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  1. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," NBER Working Papers 13810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daniel I. Rees & Joseph J. Sabia, 2011. "The Effect of Migraine Headache on Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(2), pages 317-332.
  3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  4. Jason M. Fletcher, 2008. "Adolescent depression: diagnosis, treatment, and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(11), pages 1215-1235.
  5. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2004. "Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD," NBER Working Papers 10435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fletcher, Jason & Wolfe, Barbara, 2008. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD revisited," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 794-800, May.
  7. Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effect of Body Weight on Adolescent Academic Performance," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 871–900, April.
  8. Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Effects of Weight on Children's Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. SF Koch & DC Ribar, 2001. "A Siblings Analysis Of The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption Onset On Educational Attainment," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 162-174, 04.
  10. Jason M. Fletcher, 2010. "Adolescent depression and educational attainment: results using sibling fixed effects," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(7), pages 855-871.
  11. Francesco Renna, 2007. "The economic cost of teen drinking: late graduation and lowered earnings," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 407-419.
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