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The health returns to schooling—what can we learn from twins?

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  • Petter Lundborg

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Abstract

This paper estimates the health returns to schooling, using a twin design. For this purpose, I use data on monozygotic twins from the Midlife in the United States survey. The results suggest that completing high school improves health, as measured through self-reported health, chronic conditions, and exercise behavior, but that additional schooling does not lead to additional health gains. Controlling for certain early life factors that may vary within twin pairs does not alter the main conclusions of this paper. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Petter Lundborg, 2013. "The health returns to schooling—what can we learn from twins?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 673-701, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:2:p:673-701
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0429-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vikesh Amin & Jere Behrman, 2014. "Do more-schooled women have fewer children and delay childbearing? Evidence from a sample of US twins," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 1-31, January.
    2. Eve Caroli & Mathilde Godard, 2013. "Does Job Insecurity Deteriorate Health ? A Causal Approach for Europe," Working Papers 2013-13, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    3. Michael Grossman, 2015. "The Relationship between Health and Schooling: What's New?," Working Papers 8, City University of New York Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Economics.
    4. Behrman, Jere R. & Xiong, Yanyan & Zhang, Junsen, 2015. "Cross-sectional schooling-health associations misrepresented causal schooling effects on adult health and health-related behaviors: Evidence from the Chinese Adults Twins Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 190-197.
    5. Böckerman, Petri & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2013. "Stature and life-time labor market outcomes: Accounting for unobserved differences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 86-96.
    6. Govert E. Bijwaard & Mikko Myrskylä & Per Tynelius & Finn Rasmussen, 2017. "Educational gain in cause-specific mortality: accounting for confounders," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2017-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Bijwaard, Govert & Myrskylä, Mikko & Tynelius, Per & Rasmussen, Finn, 2016. "Education, Cognitive Ability and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Structural Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10137, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Boardman, Jason D. & Domingue, Benjamin W. & Daw, Jonathan, 2015. "What can genes tell us about the relationship between education and health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 171-180.
    9. Lång, Elisabeth & Nystedt, Paul, 2016. "Learning For Life? The Effects of Schooling on Earnings and Health- Related Behavior Over the Life Cycle," LiU Working Papers in Economics 4, Linköping University, Division of Economics, Department of Management and Engineering.
    10. Hendrik Jürges & Sophie-Charlotte Meyer, 2017. "Educational differences in smoking: selection versus causation," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP17001, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    11. Niccodemi, Gianmaria & Bijwaard, Govert, 2018. "Education, Intelligence and Diseases in Old Age," IZA Discussion Papers 11605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Böckerman, Petri & Maczulskij, Terhi, 2016. "The Education-health Nexus: Fact and fiction," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 112-116.
    13. Strulik, Holger, 2016. "The return to education in terms of wealth and health," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 293, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    14. Charles L. Baum, 2017. "The Effects of College on Weight: Examining the “Freshman 15” Myth and Other Effects of College Over the Life Cycle," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(1), pages 311-336, February.
    15. Jared C. Carbone & Snorre Kverndokk, 2017. "Individual Investments in Education and Health: Policy Responses and Interactions," Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research,in: Human Capital and Health Behavior, volume 25, pages 33-83 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    16. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13646 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. McFarland, Michael J. & Wagner, Brandon G., 2015. "Does a college education reduce depressive symptoms in American young adults?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 75-84.
    18. Barr, Peter B. & Salvatore, Jessica E. & Maes, Hermine & Aliev, Fazil & Latvala, Antti & Viken, Richard & Rose, Richard J. & Kaprio, Jaakko & Dick, Danielle M., 2016. "Education and alcohol use: A study of gene-environment interaction in young adulthood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 158-167.
    19. Pınar Mine Güneş, 2016. "The effects of teenage childbearing on long-term health in the US: a twin-fixed-effects approach," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 891-920, December.
    20. repec:eee:socmed:v:184:y:2017:i:c:p:49-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:53-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. 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.
    23. Kim, Young-Joo, 2016. "The long-run effect of education on obesity in the US," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 100-109.
    24. Carbone, Jared C. & Kverndokk, Snorre, 2014. "Individual investments in education and health," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2014:1, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    25. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:160-177 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health production; Education; Schooling; Twins; Returns to education; Ability bias; I12; I11; J14;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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