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Mortality Risk and Educational Attainment of Black and White Men

  • Li Gan
  • Guan Gong
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This paper investigates to what extent the differences in education between black and white men can be explained by the differences in their mortality risks. A dynamic optimal stopping-point life cycle model is examined, in which group-level mortality risk plays an important role in determining individual-level mortality risk, health expenditure,and the amount of schooling. The model is calibrated to quantify the effect of mortality risks on schooling by taking the black and white male population as the respective reference groups for black men and white men. We find that the impact of mortality risk on schooling explains more than two-thirds of the empirical education differences between black and white males. This conclusion is robust to a set of plausible parameter values.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10381.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10381.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10381
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  1. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  2. Nan L. Maxwell, 1994. "The Effect on Black-White Wage Differences of Differences in the Quantity and Quality of Education," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 249-264, January.
  3. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-64, February.
  4. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  5. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  6. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  7. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, October.
  9. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1994. "Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: The J-Curve?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 84-103, March.
  10. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-59, October.
  11. Durlauf,S.N., 2002. "Groups, social influences and inequality : a memberships theory perspective on poverty traps," Working papers 18, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. Samuel H. Preston, 1980. "Causes and Consequences of Mortality Declines in Less Developed Countries during the Twentieth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries, pages 289-360 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. O'Neill, June, 1990. "The Role of Human Capital in Earnings Differences between Black and White Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 25-45, Fall.
  14. Nan L. Maxwell, 1994. "The effect on black-white wage differences of differences in the quantity and quality of education," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 249-264, January.
  15. Charles I. Jones, 2002. "Why Have Health Expenditures as a Share fo GDP Risen So Much?," NBER Working Papers 9325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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