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The long lasting effects of education on old age health: Evidence of gender differences


  • Mazzonna, Fabrizio


The large and positive association between education and many health outcomes is well-documented but what drives this association is still a matter of discussion in the literature. Exploiting the time and geographical exogenous variation in compulsory schooling laws across 6 European countries this paper shows evidence of large and positive effects of the additional year of schooling induced by these policies only on men's self reported health, depression and memory in old age. Furthermore, results suggest that these effects come mainly through an improvement in men's working conditions with small or no role played by income and health related behaviors. On the other hand, since women affected by compulsory school reforms show a very low labor force attachment, they do not show similar spillovers. These policies only have mixed effects on women's health related behaviors. In particular, affected women show a lower probability of being overweight, but also a higher probability of having ever smoked.

Suggested Citation

  • Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "The long lasting effects of education on old age health: Evidence of gender differences," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 129-138.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:101:y:2014:i:c:p:129-138 DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.10.042

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Fabrizio Mazzonna & Franco Peracchi, 2017. "Unhealthy Retirement?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(1), pages 128-151.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:183:y:2017:i:c:p:56-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fabrizio Mazzonna & Franco Peracchi, 2014. "Unhealthy retirement? Evidence of occupation heterogeneity," IdEP Economic Papers 1401, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    6. Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace & Shields, Michael A. & Suziedelyte, Agne, 2015. "Education and health knowledge: Evidence from UK compulsory schooling reform," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 92-100.
    7. Dudovitz, Rebecca N. & Nelson, Bergen B. & Coker, Tumaini R. & Biely, Christopher & Li, Ning & Wu, Lynne C. & Chung, Paul J., 2016. "Long-term health implications of school quality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 1-7.
    8. 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.
    9. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 25-42.


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