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Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality: Evidence from Sweden

Author

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  • Fischer, Martin

    () (University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Karlsson, Martin

    (University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Nilsson, Therese

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

Theoretically, there are several reasons to expect education to have a positive effect on health and empirical research suggests that education can be an important health determinant. However, it has not yet been established whether education and health are indeed causally related, and the effects found in previous studies may be partially attributable to methodological weaknesses. Moreover, existing evidence on the education-health relationship using information of schooling reforms for identification, generally use information from fairly recent reforms implying that health outcomes are observed only over a limited time period. This paper examines the effect of education on mortality using information on a national roll-out of a reform leading to one extra year of compulsory schooling in Sweden. In 1936, the national government made a seventh school year compulsory; however, the implementation was decided at the school district level, and the reform was implemented over a period of 12 years. Taking advantage of the variation in the timing of the implementation across school districts, by using county-level proportions of reformed districts, census data and administrative mortality data, we find that the extra compulsory school year reduced mortality. In fact, the mortality reduction is discernible already before the age of 30 and then grows in magnitude until the age of 55–60.

Suggested Citation

  • Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2013. "Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 992, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0992
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gathmann, Christina & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2015. "Compulsory schooling reforms, education and mortality in twentieth century Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 74-82.
    2. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2008. "In sickness and in health--Till education do us part: Education effects on hospitalization," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 161-172, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quis, Johanna Sophie & Reif, Simon, 2017. "Health effects of instruction intensity: Evidence from a natural experiment in German high-schools," BERG Working Paper Series 123, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    2. Öhman, Mattias, 2015. "Be smart, live long: the relationship between cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and mortality," Working Paper Series 2015:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. David Madden, 2016. "Do schooling reforms improve long-term health?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 306-306, October.
    4. Sarah Cattan & Daniel A. Kamhöfer & Martin Karlsson & Therese Nilsson, 2017. "The short- and long-term effects of student absence: evidence from Sweden," IFS Working Papers W17/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. Cutler, David M. & Huang, Wei & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2015. "When does education matter? The protective effect of education for cohorts graduating in bad times," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 63-73.
    6. Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Cattan, Sarah & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2015. "The Effects of Sickness Absence in School on Educational Achievements, Mortality and Income," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113180, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Strulik, Holger & Werner, Katharina, 2014. "Elite education, mass education, and the transition to modern growth," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 205, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    8. Petter Lundborg & Carl Hampus Lyttkens & Paul Nystedt, 2016. "The Effect of Schooling on Mortality: New Evidence From 50,000 Swedish Twins," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 1135-1168, August.
    9. Gathmann, Christina & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2015. "Compulsory schooling reforms, education and mortality in twentieth century Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 74-82.
    10. Janke, Katharina & Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2018. "The Causal Effect of Education on Chronic Health Conditions," IZA Discussion Papers 11353, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Cattan, Sarah & Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Student Absence: Evidence from Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Titus J. Galama & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Hans van Kippersluis, 2018. "The Effect of Education on Health and Mortality: A Review of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 24225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Cattan, Sarah & Kamhofer, Daniel A. & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "The Short- and Long-term Effects of Student Absence: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 1188, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to schooling; Education Reform; Mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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