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The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity

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Listed:
  • Donald Kenkel

    (Cornell University and National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Dean Lillard

    (Cornell University and Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung)

  • Alan Mathios

    (Cornell University)

Abstract

We analyze data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 on high school completion, smoking, and obesity. First, we investigate whether GED recipients differ from other high school graduates in their smoking and obesity behaviors. Second, we explore whether the relationships between schooling and these health-related behaviors are sensitive to controlling for background and ability measures. Third, we estimate instrumental variables models. Our results suggest that the returns to high school completion may include less smoking but the health returns to GED receipt are much smaller. We find little evidence that high school completion is associated with less obesity.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald Kenkel & Dean Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 635-660, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:24:y:2006:i:3:p:635-660
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    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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