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Socioemotional Skills, Education, and Health-Related Outcomes of High-Ability Individuals

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  • Peter A. Savelyev

    () (Department of Economics, College of William & Mary; Vanderbilt University; and IZA)

  • Kegon T. K. Tan

    (Department of Economics, University of Rochester)

Abstract

We use the high-IQ Terman sample to estimate relationships between education, socioemotional skills, and health-related outcomes that include health behaviors, lifestyles, and health measures across the life cycle. By both focusing on a high-IQ sample and controlling for IQ in regression models, we mitigate ability bias due to cognitive skill. In addition, we control for detailed personality measures to account for socioemotional skills. We model skills using factor analysis to address measurement error and adopt a powerful stepdown procedure to account for multiple hypothesis testing. We find that among high-IQ subjects, education is linked to better health-related outcomes, in contrast to previous evidence. Conscientiousness, Openness, Extraversion, and Neuroticism are linked to various health-related outcomes across the lifecycle. Furthermore, we find that accounting for a comprehensive set of skills, measurement error, and multiple hypothesis testing not only provides greater confidence in several established relationships but also generates novel results.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter A. Savelyev & Kegon T. K. Tan, 2019. "Socioemotional Skills, Education, and Health-Related Outcomes of High-Ability Individuals," American Journal of Health Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 250-280, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:amjhec:v:5:y:2019:i:2:p:250-280
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    Cited by:

    1. Orazio Attanasio & Richard Blundell & Gabriella Conti & Giacomo Mason, 2018. "Inequality in Socio-emotional Skills: A Cross-Cohort Comparison," NBER Chapters, in: Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar 2018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bellmann, Lutz & Hübler, Olaf, 2019. "Personal Attitudes, Job Characteristics and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 12597, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Hong, Kai & Savelyev, Peter A. & Tan, Kegon T.K., 2020. "Understanding the Mechanisms Linking College Education with Longevity," IZA Discussion Papers 13118, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Zhuang Hao & Benjamin W. Cowan, 2019. "The Effects of Graduation Requirements on Risky Health Behaviors of High School Students," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 97-125, Winter.
    5. Jiaming Soh & Kegon T. K. Tan, 2019. "The Nurture Effects of Multidimensional Parental Skills on College Attainment," Working Papers 2019-057, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    college education; Big Five personality taxonomy; health behavior; lifestyle; health;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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