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Health, schooling and lifestyle among young adults in Finland

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  • Unto Häkkinen
  • Marjo‐Riitta Järvelin
  • Gunnar Rosenqvist
  • Jaana Laitinen

Abstract

This was a longitudinal, general population study based on a Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, using a structural equation approach to estimate the health production function and health input functions for four lifestyle variables (smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise and unhealthy diet) for males and females. In particular, we examined the productive and allocative effects of education on health. We used 15D, a generic measure of health‐related quality of life, as a single index score measure but we also estimated models for some of its dimensions. Among the males, the important factors impacting on health were education and all the four lifestyle factors, as well as some exogenous variables at 31 years and variables describing parents' background, and health and behaviour at 14 years. An increase of five years in schooling increased the health score by 0.008, of which about 50% was due to direct effect and 50% due to indirect effects. Among the females, education does not impact on health, but health was affected by the use of alcohol, exercise and diet, but not by smoking. Our results indicate that policy options that increase education among men will increase their health indirectly via healthier lifestyles. However, since the total effect was rather modest and the direct effect insignificant, an increase of schooling is not a cost‐effective way to increase health given the present high educational level of Finland. The young adults' and particularly women's internationally high educational status in Finland might be a reason why we find only a modest effect of schooling on health and the non‐existence of such effects among women. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Unto Häkkinen & Marjo‐Riitta Järvelin & Gunnar Rosenqvist & Jaana Laitinen, 2006. "Health, schooling and lifestyle among young adults in Finland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(11), pages 1201-1216, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:11:p:1201-1216
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1123
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. William Griffiths & Xiaohui Zhang & Xueyan Zhao, 2010. "A Stochastic Frontier Model for Discrete Ordinal Outcomes: A Health Production Function," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1092, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Shiao-Yen Liu & Po-Chin Wu & Tsai-Yuan Huang, 2018. "Nonlinear Causality between Education and Health: the Role of Human Development Index," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 761-777, September.
    5. N. Zubanov & H. D. Webbink & N. G. Martin, 2013. "The effect of schooling on problem drinking: evidence from Australian twins," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(12), pages 1583-1599, April.
    6. Naira R. Matevosyan, 2022. "Healthcare Prometrics in the Era of Redeployment," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 13(2), pages 1374-1413, June.
    7. Sefa Awaworyi Churchill & Janet Exornam Ocloo & Diana Siawor-Robertson, 2017. "Ethnic Diversity and Health Outcomes," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 1077-1112, December.
    8. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Ocloo, Janet Exornam & Siawor-Robertson, Diana, 2015. "Ethnic diversity makes me sick! An examination of ethnic diversity’s effect on health outcomes," EconStor Preprints 123721, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    9. Lien Nguyen & Unto Häkkinen & Matti Knuuttila & Marjo‐Riitta Järvelin, 2008. "Should we brush twice a day? Determinants of dental health among young adults in Finland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 267-286, February.
    10. Sandy Tubeuf & Florence Jusot & Damien Bricard, 2012. "Mediating Role Of Education And Lifestyles In The Relationship Between Early‐Life Conditions And Health: Evidence From The 1958 British Cohort," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(S1), pages 129-150, June.
    11. Fredrik Ødegaard & Pontus Roos, 2013. "Measuring Worksite Health Promotion Programs: an application of Structural Equation Modeling with ordinal data," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(4), pages 639-653, August.
    12. Arnstein Øvrum, 2011. "Socioeconomic status and lifestyle choices: evidence from latent class analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 971-984, August.

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