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Education, Cognition, Health Knowledge, and Health Behavior

  • Naci Mocan
  • Duha T. Altindag

Using data from NLSY97 we analyze the impact of education on health behavior. Controlling for health knowledge does not influence the impact of education on health behavior, supporting the productive efficiency hypothesis. Although cognition, as measured by test scores, appears to have an effect on the relationship between education and health behavior, this effect disappears once the models control for family fixed effects. Similarly, the impact of education on health behavior is the same between those with and without a learning disability, suggesting that cognition is not likely to be a significant factor in explaining the impact of education on health behavior.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Auburn University in its series Auburn Economics Working Paper Series with number auwp2012-01.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:abn:wpaper:auwp2012-01
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  1. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J. & Mullen, K.J.Kathleen J., 2004. "The effect of schooling and ability on achievement test scores," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 39-98.
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  12. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 287-305, April.
  13. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding Differences in Health Behaviors by Education," Scholarly Articles 5344195, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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