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Schooling and adult health: Can education overcome bad early-life conditions?

Author

Listed:
  • Pedro Albarran Pérez

    (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)

  • Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo

    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We provide new evidence on the causal effect of schooling on self-reported health and focus on its possible heterogeneous impact. We use data from the 2005 and 2011 cross sections of EU-SILC, exploiting quasi-experimental evidence from schooling reforms in 16 European countries that extend the period of compulsory schooling. Our estimation strategy uses the number of years of compulsory education as an instrument for education levels. We find that reforms affect positively the schooling level only for those individuals from low-educated families. The education level is a strong determinant of adult self-perceived health: one additional year of schooling raises the probability of reporting good health by about seven percentage points. However, this effect is not homogeneous. On the contrary, the effect concentrates on individuals who were raised in relatively well-off families. Our interpretation is that we identify the effect of an exogenous variation in education that occurs in the adolescent years, when it may be too late to have a significant impact on individuals with a poor family background.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Albarran Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene, 2017. "Schooling and adult health: Can education overcome bad early-life conditions?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2017-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2017-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Schooling reforms; compulsory education; health outcomes; EU-SILC;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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