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Education and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Costas Meghir
  • Mårten Palme
  • Emilia Simeonova

Abstract

We examine the effects of a major Swedish educational reform, that increased the years of compulsory schooling, on mortality and health. Using the gradual phase-in of the reform between 1949 and 1962 across municipalities, we estimate insignificant effects of the reform on mortality in the affected cohorts. From the confidence intervals we can rule out effects larger than 1-1.4 months of increased life expectancy. We find no significant impacts on mortality for individuals of low SES backgrounds, on deaths that are more likely to be affected by behavior, on hospitalizations, and consumption of prescribed drugs.

Suggested Citation

  • Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme & Emilia Simeonova, 2012. "Education and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment," NBER Working Papers 17932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17932
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    2. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
    3. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
    4. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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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," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 12/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    2. Black, Dan A. & Hsu, Yu-Chieh & Taylor, Lowell J., 2015. "The effect of early-life education on later-life mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-9.
    3. Martin Fischer & Martin Karlsson & Therese Nilsson, 2013. "Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality – Evidence from Sweden," Ruhr Economic Papers 0441, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Amin, Vikesh & Behrman, Jere R. & Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2015. "Schooling has smaller or insignificant effects on adult health in the US than suggested by cross-sectional associations: New estimates using relatively large samples of identical twins," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 181-189.
    5. Michael Grossman, 2015. "The Relationship between Health and Schooling: What's New?," Working Papers 8, City University of New York Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Economics.
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0441 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Bingley, Paul & Martinello, Alessandro, 2017. "The Effects of Schooling on Wealth Accumulation Approaching Retirement," Working Papers 2017:9, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    8. Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Cattan, Sarah & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2015. "The Effects of Sickness Absence in School on Educational Achievements, Mortality and Income," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113180, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lundborg, Petter & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nystedt, Paul, 2012. "Do Socioeconomic Factors Really Explain Income-Related Inequalities in Health? Applying a Twin Design to Standard Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 2012:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    10. Leuven, Edwin & Plug, Erik & Rønning, Marte, 2016. "Education and cancer risk," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 106-121.
    11. 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.
    12. Gathmann, Christina & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2015. "Compulsory schooling reforms, education and mortality in twentieth century Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 74-82.
    13. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2016. "The Sooner the Better? Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10430, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. 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.
    15. Buckles, Kasey & Hagemann, Andreas & Malamud, Ofer & Morrill, Melinda & Wozniak, Abigail, 2016. "The effect of college education on mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 99-114.
    16. Avendano, M.; de Coulon, A.; Nafilyan, V.;, 2017. "Does more education always improve mental health? Evidence from a British compulsory schooling reform," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    17. Evan Taylor, 2017. "The Impact of College Education on Old-Age Mortality: A Study of Marginal Treatment Effects," Working Papers 17-30, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    18. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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