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The impact of poor health on academic performance: New evidence using genetic markers

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  • Ding, Weili
  • Lehrer, Steven F.
  • Rosenquist, J.Niels
  • Audrain-McGovern, Janet

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of health conditions on academic performance during adolescence. To account for the endogeneity of health outcomes and their interactions with risky behaviors we exploit natural variation within a set of genetic markers across individuals. We present evidence that specific genetic markers have good statistical properties to identify the impacts of ADHD, depression and obesity. These markers help reveal a new dynamism from poor health to lower academic achievement with substantial heterogeneity in their impacts across genders. Our investigation further exposes the considerable challenges in identifying health impacts due to the prevalence of comorbid health conditions, with clear implications for the health economics literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding, Weili & Lehrer, Steven F. & Rosenquist, J.Niels & Audrain-McGovern, Janet, 2009. "The impact of poor health on academic performance: New evidence using genetic markers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 578-597, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:578-597
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