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The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States

  • Adriana Lleras-Muney
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    Prior research has uncovered a large and positive correlation between education and health. This paper examines whether education has a causal impact on health. I follow synthetic cohorts using successive U.S. censuses to estimate the impact of educational attainment on mortality rates. I use compulsory education laws from 1915 to 1939 as instruments for education. The results suggest that education has a causal impact on mortality, and that this effect is perhaps larger than has been previously estimated in the literature.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8986.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8986.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2002
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    Publication status: published as Lleras-Muney, Adriana. "The Relationships Between Education And Adult Mortality In The United States," Review of Economic Studies, 2005, v72(250,Jan), 189-221.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8986
    Note: HC HE
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    7. Lalith Munasinghe & Nachum Sicherman, 2000. "Why Do Dancers Smoke? Time Preference, Occupational Choice, and Wage Growth," NBER Working Papers 7542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-86, December.
    9. Victor R. Fuchs, 1980. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 0539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. John Bound & David A. Jaeger, 1996. "On the Validity of Season of Birth as an Instrument in Wage Equations: A Comment on Angrist & Krueger's "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Scho," NBER Working Papers 5835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Costas Meghir & Marten Palme, 2000. "Assessing the Effect of Schooling on Earnings Using a Social Experiment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0670, Econometric Society.
    13. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
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    15. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
    16. Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the United Kingdom," Open Access publications 10197/647, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    17. Landes, William M. & Solmon, Lewis C., 1972. "Compulsory Schooling Legislation: An Economic Analysis of Law and Social Change in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 54-91, March.
    18. Perri, Timothy J., 1984. "Health status and schooling decisions of young men," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 207-213, June.
    19. Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla, 2001. "Understanding Health Disparities Across Education Groups," NBER Working Papers 8328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Becker, Gary S & Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-58, August.
    21. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
    22. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1997. "Child mortality and public spending on health : how much does money matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1864, The World Bank.
    23. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1999. "How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," Working papers 99-30, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    24. Ellen Meara, 2001. "Why is Health Related to Socioeconomic Status?," NBER Working Papers 8231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Dana P. Goldman & James P. Smith, 2004. "Can Patient Self-Management Help Explain the SES Health Gradient?," HEW 0403004, EconWPA.
    26. Wolfe, Barbara L. & Behrman, Jere R., 1987. "Women's schooling and children's health : Are the effects robust with adult sibling control for the women's childhood background?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 239-254, September.
    27. Bruce Christenson & Nan Johnson, 1995. "Educational Inequality in Adult Mortality: An Assessment with Death Certificate Data from Michigan," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 215-229, May.
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