Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality: Evidence from Sweden
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.
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- Gathmann, Christina & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2012.
"Compulsory Schooling Reforms, Education and Mortality in Twentieth Century Europe,"
IZA Discussion Papers
6403, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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.
- Gathmann, Christina & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2012. "Compulsory Schooling Reforms, Education and Mortality in Twentieth Century Europe," Working Papers 12-04, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
- Christina Gathmann & Hendrik Jürges & Steffen Reinhold, 2012. "Compulsory Schooling Reforms, Education and Mortality in Twentieth Century Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 3755, CESifo Group Munich.
- 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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