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New evidence of the effects of education on health in the US: Compulsory schooling laws revisited

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  • Fletcher, Jason M.

Abstract

Estimating the effects of education on health and mortality has been the subject of intense debate and competing findings and summaries. The original Lleras-Muney (2005) methods utilizing state compulsory schooling laws as instrumental variables for completed education and US data to establish effects of education on mortality have been extended to several countries, with mixed and often null findings. However, additional US studies have lagged behind due to small samples and/or lack of mortality information in many available datasets. This paper uses a large, novel survey from the AARP on several hundred thousand respondents to present new evidence of the effects of education on a variety of health outcomes. Results suggest that education may have a role in improving several dimensions of health, such as self reports, cardiovascular outcomes, and weight outcomes. Other results appear underpowered, suggesting that further use of this methodology may require even larger, and potentially unattainable, sample sizes in the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Fletcher, Jason M., 2015. "New evidence of the effects of education on health in the US: Compulsory schooling laws revisited," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 101-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:127:y:2015:i:c:p:101-107
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.052
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bijwaard, G.E.; & Tynelius, P.;, 2018. "The impact of mental problems on mortality and how it is moderated by education," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/16, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. repec:eee:socmed:v:184:y:2017:i:c:p:49-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Titus J. Galama & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Hans van Kippersluis, 2018. "The Effect of Education on Health and Mortality: A Review of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 24225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:188:y:2017:i:c:p:128-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Naomi Duke & Ross Macmillan, 2016. "Schooling, skills, and self-rated health: A test of conventional wisdom on the relationship between educational attainment and health," Working Papers 087, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    6. Janke, Katharina & Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2018. "The Causal Effect of Education on Chronic Health Conditions," IZA Discussion Papers 11353, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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