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College Quality and Young Adult Health Behaviors

  • Jason Fletcher
  • David Frisvold

Large literatures have shown important links between the quantity of completed education and health outcomes on one hand and the quality of schooling on a host of adult outcomes, such as wages, on the other hand. However, little research has been targeted to producing evidence of the link between school quality and health. The paper presents the first evidence in the literature on the potential short and intermediate term effects of attending a selective college on health behaviors during and following college attendance. Using a variety of empirical methods, this paper shows strong evidence that college quality reduces tobacco and marijuana use but has small and possibly positive effects on binge drinking. The effects on weight behaviors are suggestive of reduced weight, potentially through diet but not exercise change.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 1007.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:1007
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  1. Wolfe, Barbara L. & Behrman, Jere R., 1987. "Women's schooling and children's health : Are the effects robust with adult sibling control for the women's childhood background?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 239-254, September.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Victor R. Fuchs, 1980. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 0539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kenkel, D.S., 1988. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, And Schooling," Papers 10-88-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. David Frisvold & Ezra Golberstein, 2013. "The Effect of School Quality on Black-White Health Differences: Evidence From Segregated Southern Schools," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 1989-2012, December.
  6. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  7. Webbink, Dinand & Martin, Nicholas G. & Visscher, Peter M., 2010. "Does education reduce the probability of being overweight?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 29-38, January.
  8. Long, Mark C., 2010. "Changes in the returns to education and college quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 338-347, June.
  9. Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold, 2014. "The long run health returns to college quality," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 295-325, June.
  10. Jason M. Fletcher & David E. Frisvold, 2009. "Higher Education and Health Investments: Does More Schooling Affect Preventive Health Care Use?," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 144-176.
  11. Jensen, Robert & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2012. "Does staying in school (and not working) prevent teen smoking and drinking?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 644-657.
  12. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Long, Mark C., 2008. "College quality and early adult outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 588-602, October.
  14. Richard K. Crump & V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Oscar A. Mitnik, 2006. "Moving the Goalposts: Addressing Limited Overlap in the Estimation of Average Treatment Effects by Changing the Estimand," NBER Technical Working Papers 0330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Richard K. Crump & V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Oscar A. Mitnik, 2006. "Moving the Goalposts: Addressing Limited Overlap in Estimation of Average Treatment Effects by Changing the Estimand," Working Papers 0608, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  16. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
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