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Health endowments, schooling allocation in the family, and longevity: Evidence from US twins

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  • Savelyev, Peter A.
  • Ward, Benjamin C.
  • Krueger, Robert F.
  • McGue, Matt

Abstract

We analyze data from the Minnesota Twin Registry (MTR), combined with the Socioeconomic Survey of Twins (SST), and new mortality data, and contribute to two bodies of literature. First, we demonstrate a beneficial causal effect of education on health and longevity in contrast to other twin-based studies of the US population, which show little or no effect of education on health. Second, we present evidence that is consistent with parental compensation through education for differences in their children’s endowments that predict health, but find no evidence that parents reinforce differences in endowments that predict earnings. We argue that there is a bias towards detecting reinforcement both in this paper and in the literature. Despite this bias, we still find statistical evidence of compensating behavior. We account for observed and unobserved confounding factors, sample selection bias, and measurement error in education.

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  • Savelyev, Peter A. & Ward, Benjamin C. & Krueger, Robert F. & McGue, Matt, 2022. "Health endowments, schooling allocation in the family, and longevity: Evidence from US twins," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:81:y:2022:i:c:s0167629621001399
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2021.102554
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    1. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clarke, Damian, 2022. "Analysis of Twins," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 638, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
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    3. Lleras-Muney, Adriana & Price, Joseph & Yue, Dahai, 2022. "The association between educational attainment and longevity using individual-level data from the 1940 census," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
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    5. Michael Grossman, 2022. "The demand for health turns 50: Reflections," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(9), pages 1807-1822, September.
    6. Atticus Bolyard & Peter Savelyev, 2021. "Understanding the Educational Attainment Polygenic Score and its Interactions with SES in Determining Health in Young Adulthood," Working Papers 2021-026, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

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    13. Abufhele, Alejandra & Behrman, Jere & Bravo, David, 2017. "Parental preferences and allocations of investments in children's learning and health within families," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 194(C), pages 76-86.
    14. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2011. "Estimating the relation between health and education: What do we know and what do we need to know?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 778-791, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health endowment; Earnings endowment; Skill investments; Education; Intrafamily resource allocation; Health; Longevity; Twin study; Minnesota twin registry; Socioeconomic survey of twins;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

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