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Health Effects of Instruction Intensity: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in German High-Schools

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  • Johanna Sophie Quis
  • Simon Reif

Abstract

A large literature aims to establish a causal link between education and health using changes in compulsory schooling laws. It is however unclear how well more education is operationalized by marginal increases in school years. We shed a new light on this discussion by analyzing the health effects of a reform in Germany where total years of schooling forstudents in the academic track were reduced from nine to eight while keeping cumulative teaching hours constant by increasing instruction intensity. The sequential introduction of the reform allows us to implement a triple difference-in-differences estimation strategy with data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. We find that increased weekly instruction time has negative health effects for females while they are still in school. However, after graduation, females even seem to benefit from reduced school years. We find no effects on males’ health.

Suggested Citation

  • Johanna Sophie Quis & Simon Reif, 2017. "Health Effects of Instruction Intensity: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in German High-Schools," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 916, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp916
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    7. March, Christoph & Sahm, Marco, 2018. "Contests as selection mechanisms: The impact of risk aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 114-131.
    8. Hofmann, Sarah & Mühlenweg, Andrea, 2018. "Learning intensity effects in students’ mental and physical health – Evidence from a large scale natural experiment in Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 216-234.
    9. Lustenhouwer, Joep & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2017. "Fiscal consolidations and finite planning horizons," BERG Working Paper Series 130, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    10. Hommes, Cars & Lustenhouwer, Joep & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2018. "Fiscal consolidations and heterogeneous expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 173-205.
    11. Michael Doersam & Verena Lauber, 2019. "The Effect of a Compressed High School Curriculum on University Performance," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2019-03, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education and health; instruction intensity; natural experiment; SOEP;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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