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Healthy, wealthy and wise? A review of the wider benefits of education

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    This paper reviews evidence that a greater education causes better outcomes in life, over and above the effects of having a higher-paying job. Comparatively little has been written which draws together evidence on the wider (that is, wider than just earnings-related) benefits of education, although studies which ignore these benefits might considerably underestimate the total return from a additional year of education or an additional qualification. Research suggests that increased education, as measured by the time people spend in formal education or the qualifications they attain, may cause a reduction in cigarette smoking, anxiety disorders, anti-social disorders, suicide, crime, teenage pregnancies, unemployment and reliance on welfare benefits, at least when these outcomes are measured in young adulthood. Education may also have an effect on people’s health. The wider benefits of education are difficult to quantify, however, and the degree of uncertainty around them is considerable. Policy-makers would be unwise to rely too heavily on the existence of wider benefits when making decisions about public investment in education.

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    File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2004/04-04/twp04-04.pdf
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    Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 04/04.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:04/04
    Contact details of provider: Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
    Phone: +64-4-472 2733
    Fax: +64-4-473 0982
    Web page: http://www.treasury.govt.nz

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    24. Antonovics, Kate & Goldberger, Arthur S., 2003. "Do Educated Women Make Bad Mothers? Twin Studies of the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2mk37677, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    25. Robert Kaestner & Hope Corman, 1995. "The Impact of Child Health and Family Inputs on Child Cognitive Develop-ment," NBER Working Papers 5257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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