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Education, Cognition, Health Knowledge, and Health Behavior

  • Naci H. Mocan
  • Duha Tore Altindag

Using data from the NLSY97 we analyze the impact of education on health behaviors, measured by smoking and heavy drinking. Controlling for health knowledge does not influence the impact of education on health behaviors, supporting the productive efficiency hypothesis. Although cognition, as measured by test scores, appears to have an effect on the relationship between education and health behaviors, this effect disappears once the models control for family fixed effects. Similarly, the impact of education on smoking and heavy drinking is the same between those with and without a learning disability, suggesting that cognition is not likely to be a significant factor in explaining the impact of education on health behaviors.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17949.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17949.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Publication status: published as “Health Knowledge, Education and the Demand for Health Inputs,” European Journal of Health Economics, (2014), 15(3), pp. 265-79 . (with Naci Mocan).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17949
Note: CH HE
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  7. Robert Kaestner, 2009. "Adolescent Cognitive and Non-cognitive Correlates of Adult Health," NBER Working Papers 14924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
  10. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch82-1.
  11. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother'S Education And The Intergenerational Transmission Of Human Capital: Evidence From College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532, November.
  12. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding Differences in Health Behaviors by Education," Scholarly Articles 5344195, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
  15. 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.
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