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The Long-run Health Returns to College Quality

Listed author(s):
  • Jason Fletcher
  • David Frisvold

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 1011.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:1011
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://economics.emory.edu/home/journals/
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