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Life Expectancy and Education: Evidence from the Cardiovascular Revolution

Author

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  • Casper Worm Hansen

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)

  • Holger Strulik

    (Department of Economics, University of Goettingen)

Abstract

In this study we investigate the causal impact of increasing adult longevity on higher education. We exploit the fourth stage of the epidemiological transition, i.e. the unexpected decline of deaths from heart attack and stroke in the 1970s as a large positive health shock that affected predominantly old age mortality. Using a differences-in-differences estimation strategy we find across U.S. states that the cardiovascular revolution led to an increase in adult life expectancy by about 2 years, which caused higher education enrollment to increase by 7 percentage points, i.e. 30 percent of the observed increase from 1970 to 2000. Our findings are robust to the inclusion of state-specific health trends and a host of confounding variables. They suggest large effects of improving longevity on higher education enrollment.

Suggested Citation

  • Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2015. "Life Expectancy and Education: Evidence from the Cardiovascular Revolution," Discussion Papers 15-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1501
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    Cited by:

    1. Strulik, Holger, 2016. "Myopic misery: Maternal depression, child investments, and the neurobiological poverty trap," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 294, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. Abdalali Monsef & Abolfazl Shahmohammadi Mehrjardi, 2015. "Determinants of Life Expectancy: A Panel Data Approach," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(11), pages 1251-1257, November.
    3. Holger Strulik & Katharina Werner, 2016. "50 is the new 30—long-run trends of schooling and retirement explained by human aging," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 165-187, June.
    4. Hyclak, Thomas J. & Skeels, Christopher L. & Taylor, Larry W., 2016. "The cardiovascular revolution and economic performance in the OECD countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 114-125.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adult life expectancy; higher education; cardiovascular diseases; 2SLS strategy; di erences-in-differences first-stage.;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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