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Does longer compulsory schooling affect mental health? Evidence from a British reform

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  • Avendano, Mauricio
  • de Coulon, Augustin
  • Nafilyan, Vahé

Abstract

In this paper, we examine whether longer compulsory schooling has a causal effect on mental health, exploiting a 1972 reform which raised the minimum school leaving age from age 15 to 16 in Great Britain. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that the reform did not improve mental health. We provide evidence that extending the duration of compulsory schooling impacts mental health through channels other than increased educational attainment. We argue that these effects may mitigate or offset the health returns to increased educational attainment.

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  • Avendano, Mauricio & de Coulon, Augustin & Nafilyan, Vahé, 2020. "Does longer compulsory schooling affect mental health? Evidence from a British reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:183:y:2020:i:c:s0047272720300013
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104137
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    8. Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2021. "The effect of education on poverty: A European perspective," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    9. Vikesh Amin & Jere R. Behrman & Jason M. Fletcher & Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2022. "Does Schooling Improve Cognitive Abilities at Older Ages: Causal Evidence from Nonparametric Bounds," PIER Working Paper Archive 22-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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    11. Theodore F. Figinski & Alicia Lloro & Avinash Moorthy, 2022. "Revisiting the Effect of Education on Later Life Health," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2022-007, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mental health; Education; Compulsory schooling; UK;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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