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The Education-health Nexus: Fact and fiction

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  • Böckerman, Petri
  • Maczulskij, Terhi

Abstract

This paper examines the link between schooling and health. We provide new evidence on the relationship between formal schooling completed and several aspects of health by using Finnish twin data matched to individual information on schooling. Health is measured in 1990 (and 1981). Schooling is defined using comprehensive register-based information. All models account for initial health endowment in 1975. The sample sizes vary from 2542 to 4402 identical twins, depending on the specification. Using twin design, we find that unobserved family and genetic factors drive the cross-sectional correlations between schooling and many health measures, especially for females. Our within-MZ twin results for males show that high school (or vocational) or lowest level tertiary education reduces BMI and medication use. High school (or vocational) or university graduated males also exercise more than males who have completed primary education only. Given that high school or basic tertiary education have the strongest positive health effects for males, our results suggest that policies that prevent secondary school dropout alone may yield social benefits in the form of better health.

Suggested Citation

  • Böckerman, Petri & Maczulskij, Terhi, 2016. "The Education-health Nexus: Fact and fiction," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 112-116.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:150:y:2016:i:c:p:112-116
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.12.036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:socmed:v:188:y:2017:i:c:p:191-200 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hübler, Olaf, 2017. "Health and Body Mass Index: No Simple Relationship," IZA Discussion Papers 10620, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:96-111 is not listed on IDEAS

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