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Compulsory Schooling Reforms, Education and Mortality in Twentieth Century Europe

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  • Gathmann, Christina

    () (Heidelberg University)

  • Jürges, Hendrik

    () (University of Mannheim)

  • Reinhold, Steffen

    () (University of Mannheim)

Abstract

Education yields substantial non-monetary benefits, but the size of these gains is still debated. Previous studies, for example, report contradictory effects of education and compulsory schooling on mortality – ranging from zero to large mortality reductions. Using data from 19 compulsory schooling reforms implemented in Europe during the twentieth century, we quantify the mean mortality effect and explore its dispersion across gender, time and countries. We find that men benefit from compulsory education both in the shorter and longer run. In contrast, compulsory schooling reforms have little or no effect on mortality for women.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6403
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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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," NBER Working Papers 20557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:6:p:1125-1132 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Heckley, Gawain & Fischer , Martin & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Karlsson , Martin & Kjellsson, Gustav & Nilsson, Therese, 2018. "The Long-Term Impact of Education on Mortality and Health: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 2018:8, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    7. Meyer, Andrew, 2015. "Does education increase pro-environmental behavior? Evidence from Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 108-121.
    8. Ninja Ritter Klejnstrup & Joel Silas Lincoln, 2018. "Formal education, malaria preventive behaviour, and children’s malarial status in Tanzania," WIDER Working Paper Series 009, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. repec:eee:socmed:v:188:y:2017:i:c:p:128-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Quis, Johanna Sophie & Mehl, Simon, 2018. "Health Effects of Instruction Intensity: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in German High-Schools," Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181619, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. 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.
    12. Leuven, Edwin & Plug, Erik & Rønning, Marte, 2016. "Education and cancer risk," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 106-121.
    13. Bijwaard, Govert E. & van Kippersluis, Hans & Veenman, Justus, 2015. "Education and health: The role of cognitive ability," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 29-43.
    14. Meyer, Andrew G., 2017. "The impact of education on political ideology: Evidence from European compulsory education reforms," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 9-23.
    15. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "The long lasting effects of education on old age health: Evidence of gender differences," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 129-138.
    16. Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2015. "Does women's education affect breast cancer risk and survival? Evidence from a population based social experiment in education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 115-124.
    17. Makate, Marshall & Makate, Clifton, 2016. "The causal effect of increased primary schooling on child mortality in Malawi: Universal primary education as a natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 72-83.
    18. 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).
    19. repec:eee:socmed:v:212:y:2018:i:c:p:168-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Naomi Duke & Ross Macmillan, 2016. "Schooling, skills, and self-rated health: A test of conventional wisdom on the relationship between educational attainment and health," Working Papers 087, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mortality; compulsory schooling; education; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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