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The Impact of Education on Health Knowledge

Author

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  • Duha Tore Altindag
  • Colin Cannonier
  • Naci H. Mocan

Abstract

The theory on the demand for health suggests that schooling causes health because schooling increases the efficiency of health production. Alternatively, the allocative efficiency hypothesis argues that schooling alters the input mix chosen to produce health. This suggests that the more educated have more knowledge about the health production function and they have more health knowledge. This paper uses data from the 1997 and 2002 waves of the NLSY97 to conduct an investigation of the allocative efficiency hypothesis by analyzing whether education improves health knowledge. The survey design allows us to observe the increase in health knowledge of young adults after their level of schooling is increased by differential and plausibly exogenous amounts. Using nine different questions measuring health knowledge, we find weak evidence that an increase in education generates an improvement in health knowledge for those who ultimately attend college. For those with high school as the terminal degree, no relationship is found between education and health knowledge. These results imply that the allocative efficiency hypothesis may not be the primary reason for why schooling impacts health outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Duha Tore Altindag & Colin Cannonier & Naci H. Mocan, 2010. "The Impact of Education on Health Knowledge," NBER Working Papers 16422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16422 Note: CH HE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Altindag, Duha & Cannonier, Colin & Mocan, Naci, 2011. "The impact of education on health knowledge," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 792-812, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cuffe, H.E. & Harbaugh, W.T. & Lindo, J.M. & Musto, G. & Waddell, G.R., 2012. "Evidence on the efficacy of school-based incentives for healthy living," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1028-1036.
    2. Naci Mocan & Duha Altindag, 2014. "Education, cognition, health knowledge, and health behavior," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(3), pages 265-279, April.
    3. Altindag, Duha & Cannonier, Colin & Mocan, Naci, 2011. "The impact of education on health knowledge," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 792-812, October.
    4. El-Osta, Hisham S., 2015. "Assessing the Impact of Health Insurance and Other Socioeconomic Factors on Inequality in Health Care Expenditures among Farm Households," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 44(1), April.
    5. Jorge M. Agüero & Prashant Bharadwaj, 2014. "Do the More Educated Know More about Health? Evidence from Schooling and HIV Knowledge in Zimbabwe," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 489-517.
    6. Güneş, Pınar Mine, 2015. "The role of maternal education in child health: Evidence from a compulsory schooling law," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-16.
    7. Resul Cesur & Bahadir Dursun & Naci Mocan, 2014. "The Impact of Education on Health and Health Behavior in a Middle-Income, Low-Education Country," NBER Working Papers 20764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Runu Bhakta & A. Ganesh Kumar, 2014. "Does parental education affect the impact of provision of health care on health status of children? - Evidence from India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-036, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    9. Fletcher, Jason M. & Frisvold, David E., 2011. "College selectivity and young adult health behaviors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 826-837, October.
    10. Carbone, Jared C. & Kverndokk, Snorre, 2014. "Individual investments in education and health," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2014:1, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    11. Mocan, Naci & Raschke, Christian & Unel, Bulent, 2015. "The impact of mothers’ earnings on health inputs and infant health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 204-223.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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