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Compulsory schooling, education, depression and memory: New evidence from SHARELIFE

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  • Crespo, Laura
  • López-Noval, Borja
  • Mira, Pedro

Abstract

In this paper we provide new evidence on the causal effect of education on adult depression and cognition. We use SHARE data and schooling reforms in several European countries as instruments for educational attainment. We find that an extra year of education has a large and significant protective effect on mental health; the probability of suffering depression decreases by 6.5 percentage points. We find a large and significant protective effect on cognition as measured by word recall. We also explore whether heterogeneity and selection play a part in the large discrepancy between OLS and IV (LATE) estimates of the effect of education on depression and cognition. Using the data available in SHARELIFE on early life conditions of the respondents such as the individuals’ socioeconomic status, health, and performance at school, we identify subgroups particularly affected by the reforms and with high marginal health returns to education.

Suggested Citation

  • Crespo, Laura & López-Noval, Borja & Mira, Pedro, 2014. "Compulsory schooling, education, depression and memory: New evidence from SHARELIFE," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 36-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:43:y:2014:i:c:p:36-46
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2014.09.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Avendano, M.; de Coulon, A.; Nafilyan, V.;, 2017. "Does more education always improve mental health? Evidence from a British compulsory schooling reform," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Quis, Johanna Sophie & Reif, Simon, 2017. "Health effects of instruction intensity: Evidence from a natural experiment in German high-schools," BERG Working Paper Series 123, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    3. Janke, Katharina & Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2018. "The Causal Effect of Education on Chronic Health Conditions," IZA Discussion Papers 11353, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2017. "The long-term effects of long terms: Compulsory schooling reforms in Sweden," Ruhr Economic Papers 733, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    5. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:6:p:1125-1132 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. McFarland, Michael J. & Wagner, Brandon G., 2015. "Does a college education reduce depressive symptoms in American young adults?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 75-84.
    7. Daniel Graeber, 2017. "Does More Education Protect against Mental Health Problems?," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 113, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Pedro Albarran Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene, 2017. "Schooling and adult health: Can education overcome bad early-life conditions?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2017-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health-SES gradient; Education reforms; Instrumental variables; Treatment effects; SHARELIFE;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables

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