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The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy

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  • Maclean, Johanna Catherine

Abstract

This study investigates the lasting health effects of leaving school in a bad economy. Three empirical patterns motivate this study: Leaving school in a bad economy has persistent and negative career effects, career and health outcomes are correlated, and fluctuations in contemporaneous economic conditions affect health in the short-run. I draw data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Age 40 Health Supplement. Members of my sample left school between 1976 and 1992. I find that men who left school when the school-leaving state unemployment rate was high have worse health at age 40 than otherwise similar men, while leaving school in a bad economy lowers depressive symptoms at age 40 among women. A 1 percentage point increase in the school-leaving state unemployment rate leads to a 0.5% to 18% reduction in the measured health outcomes among men and a 6% improvement in depressive symptoms among women.

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  • Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:5:p:951-964
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.07.003
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    Keywords

    Mental health; Physical health; School-leaving; Macroeconomic fluctuations;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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