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Compulsory schooling reforms, education and mortality in twentieth century Europe

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  • Gathmann, Christina
  • Jürges, Hendrik
  • Reinhold, Steffen

Abstract

Education yields substantial non-monetary benefits, but the size of these gains is still debated. Previous studies report causal effects of education and compulsory schooling on mortality ranging anywhere from zero to large and negative. Using data from 18 compulsory schooling reforms implemented in Europe during the twentieth century, we quantify the average mortality gain and explore its dispersion across gender, time and countries. We find that more education yields small mortality reductions in the short- and long-run for men. In contrast, women seem to experience no mortality reductions from compulsory schooling reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Gathmann, Christina & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2015. "Compulsory schooling reforms, education and mortality in twentieth century Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 74-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:127:y:2015:i:c:p:74-82
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.01.037
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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. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2013. "Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 992, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    3. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:6:p:1125-1132 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ninja Ritter Klejnstrup & Joel Silas Lincoln, 2018. "Formal education, malaria preventive behaviour, and children’s malarial status in Tanzania," WIDER Working Paper Series 009, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Leuven, Edwin & Plug, Erik & Rønning, Marte, 2016. "Education and cancer risk," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 106-121.
    6. Makate, Marshall & Makate, Clifton, 2016. "The causal effect of increased primary schooling on child mortality in Malawi: Universal primary education as a natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 72-83.
    7. Pedro Albarran Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene, 2017. "Schooling and adult health: Can education overcome bad early-life conditions?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2017-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    8. Bijwaard, Govert E. & van Kippersluis, Hans & Veenman, Justus, 2015. "Education and health: The role of cognitive ability," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 29-43.
    9. Petter Lundborg & Carl Hampus Lyttkens & Paul Nystedt, 2016. "The Effect of Schooling on Mortality: New Evidence From 50,000 Swedish Twins," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 1135-1168, August.
    10. repec:eee:socmed:v:188:y:2017:i:c:p:128-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Meyer, Andrew G., 2017. "The impact of education on political ideology: Evidence from European compulsory education reforms," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 9-23.
    12. 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.
    13. Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," NBER Working Papers 20557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Heckley, Gawain & Fischer , Martin & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Karlsson , Martin & Kjellsson, Gustav & Nilsson, Therese, 2018. "The Long-Term Impact of Education on Mortality and Health: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 2018:8, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    15. 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.
    16. Meyer, Andrew, 2015. "Does education increase pro-environmental behavior? Evidence from Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 108-121.
    17. 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.
    18. Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2015. "Does women's education affect breast cancer risk and survival? Evidence from a population based social experiment in education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 115-124.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compulsory schooling; Education; Mortality; Europe;

    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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