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Health and Education: Understanding the Gradient

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  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

This study presents a novel view on education and health behavior of individuals constrained by aging bodies. The aging process, i.e. the accumulation of health deficits over time, is built on recent insights from gerontology. The loss of body functionality, which eventually leads to death, can be accelerated by unhealthy behavior and delayed through health expenditure. The proposed theory rationalizes why better educated people optimally choose a healthier lifestyle, that is why they spend more on health and indulge less in unhealthy behavior. The model is calibrated for the average male US citizen. In the benchmark case a di erence of the return to education that motivates one year more of education motivates also about 8 percent less unhealthy behavior and 5 percent more health expenditure and thus explains half a year gain of longevity. Progress in medical technology explains why the education gradient gets larger over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Strulik, Holger, 2011. "Health and Education: Understanding the Gradient," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-487, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-487
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    1. repec:ctl:louvde:v:83:y:2017:i:2:p:245-258 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Schünemann, Johannes & Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2017. "The gender gap in mortality: How much is explained by behavior?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 79-90.
    3. Trimborn, Timo & Schünemann, Johannes & Strulik, Holger, 2016. "Disentangling the Gender Gap in Longevity," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145570, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Volker Grossmann & Holger Strulik, 2015. "Optimal Social Insurance and Health Inequality," CESifo Working Paper Series 5604, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Holger STRULIK, 2015. "A Closed-form Solution for the Health Capital Model," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 301-316, September.
    6. Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "Long-run trends of human aging and longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1303-1323, October.
    7. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2017. "The Genesis of the Golden Age: Accounting for the Rise in Health and Leisure," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 132-151, March.
    8. Holger STRULIK, 2017. "The Health Hump," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 245-258, June.
    9. Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Life expectancy and education: evidence from the cardiovascular revolution," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 421-450, December.
    10. repec:eee:joecag:v:6:y:2015:i:c:p:5-12 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Schooling; Aging; Longevity; Health Expenditure; Unhealthy Behavior; Smoking;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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