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Compulsory Schooling, Education and Mental Health: New Evidence from SHARELIFE

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Crespo

    () (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros)

  • Borja López-Noval

    () (Universidad de Cantabria)

  • Pedro Mira

    () (CEMFI)

Abstract

In this paper we provide new evidence on the causal effect of education on adult depression and cognition. Using SHARE data, we use schooling reforms in several European countries as instruments for educational attainment. We find that an extra year of education has a large and significant protective effect on mental health: the probability of suffering depression decreases by 6.5 percent. We find a large and significant protective effect on cognition as measured by word recall. We also explore whether heterogeneity and selection play a part in the large discrepancy between OLS and IV (LATE) estimates of the effect of education on depression and cognition. Using the data available in SHARELIFE on early life conditions of the respondents such as the individuals’ socioeconomic status, health, and performance at school, we identify subgroups particularly affected by the reforms and with high marginal health returns to education.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Crespo & Borja López-Noval & Pedro Mira, 2013. "Compulsory Schooling, Education and Mental Health: New Evidence from SHARELIFE," Working Papers wp2013_1304, CEMFI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmf:wpaper:wp2013_1304
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.
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    3. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "Changes in Compulsory Schooling, Education and the Distribution of Wages in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 516-539, March.
    4. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2005. "Does education cause better health? A panel data analysis using school reforms for identification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 149-160, April.
    5. Raquel Fonseca Benito & Yuhui Zheng, 2011. "The Effect of Education on Health Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers 864, RAND Corporation.
    6. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
    7. Silles, Mary A., 2009. "The causal effect of education on health: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 122-128, February.
    8. Fabrice Murtin & Martina Viarengo, 2008. "The Convergence of Compulsory Schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000," CEE Discussion Papers 0095, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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    11. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health-SES gradient; education reforms; instrumental variables treatment effects; SHARELIFE.;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables

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