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The effect of life expectancy on schooling: Evidence from the international health transition

The influence of life expectancy on schooling is usually thought of as one main mechanism by which life expectancy possibly affects income per capita and thus economic development. However, the relevance of this channel has been qualified in recent research. This paper studies whether life expectancy has an effect on the number of years of schooling. Using cross-country panel data, the empirical analysis finds that a 1 percent rise in life expectancy at birth increases years of schooling by 3.5 percent. The analysis also demonstrates that this result is not driven by child mortality or by general improvements in living standards. All in all, the evidence presented suggests that health, as measured by life expectancy, has a direct positive effect on the accumulation of human capital.

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File URL: http://static.sdu.dk/mediafiles//F/0/B/%7BF0B7912B-6383-4079-97B4-4988FA7D505B%7Ddpbe6_2012.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark in its series Discussion Papers of Business and Economics with number 6/2012.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: 06 Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2012_006
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Phone: 65 50 32 33
Fax: 65 50 32 37
Web page: http://www.sdu.dk/ivoe
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  1. Peter Lorentzen & John McMillan & Romain Wacziarg, 2006. "Death and Development," 2006 Meeting Papers 61, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
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  13. Oded Galor, 2005. "Unified Growth Theory," Development and Comp Systems 0504001, EconWPA.
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  15. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1653-1672, December.
  16. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The Century of Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0109, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  17. David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2004. "The Health and Wealth of Africa," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 5(2), pages 57-81, April.
  18. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang, 2005. "The Effect of Life Expectancy on Fertility, Saving, Schooling and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 45-66, 03.
  19. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The century of education," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586751, HAL.
  20. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117, 02.
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