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Education and adult health: Is there a causal effect?

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  • Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • Pedro Albarrán

    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

Many studies find a strong positive correlation between education and adult health. A subtler question is whether this correlation can be interpreted as a causal relationship. We combine multi-country data from two cross-sections of EU-SILC (European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) and use exogenous variation in compulsory years of schooling across countries and cohorts induced by compulsory school laws. We find no causal effect of education on any of our several health measures. This finding is extremely robust to different changes in our main specification and holds using other databases. We discuss different explanations.

Suggested Citation

  • Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo & Pedro Albarrán & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe, 2019. "Education and adult health: Is there a causal effect?," Working Papers 19.11, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:19.11
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    Keywords

    health; education; instrumental variables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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