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The Long-run Health Returns to College Quality

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  • Jason Fletcher
  • David Frisvold

Abstract

The link between education and health is one of the most robust empirical relationships in the social sciences. However, little research has examined the effects of educational quality on health outcomes. In this paper, we estimate the long-run effects on smoking and body mass index of graduating from a selective college in the 1960s using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, which has tracked siblings for over fifty years. Importantly, we are able to control for measures of health endowments, ability, and time preferences before the college enrollment decisions of the respondents as well as shared family and environmental factors by using sibling fixed effects. Our results suggest large effects of college selectivity on reducing overweight, but not smoking, for individuals in their 60s.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold, 2010. "The Long-run Health Returns to College Quality," Emory Economics 1011, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  • Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:1011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kemptner, Daniel & Marcus, Jan, 2013. "Spillover Effects of Maternal Education on Child's Health and Health Behavior," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 29-54.
    2. Joseph Sabia & Daniel Rees, 2015. "Body weight, mental health capital, and academic achievement," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 653-684, September.
    3. Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold, 2010. "College Quality and Young Adult Health Behaviors," Emory Economics 1007, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    4. 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.
    5. Fletcher, Jason M., 2015. "New evidence of the effects of education on health in the US: Compulsory schooling laws revisited," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 101-107.
    6. Zhuang Hao & Benjamin W. Cowan, 2017. "The Effects of Graduation Requirements on Risky Health Behaviors of High School Students," NBER Working Papers 23803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Fletcher, Jason M. & Frisvold, David E., 2011. "College selectivity and young adult health behaviors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 826-837, October.
    8. Frisvold, David & Golberstein, Ezra, 2011. "School quality and the education–health relationship: Evidence from Blacks in segregated schools," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1232-1245.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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