Comment on David Cutler and Adriana Lleras-Muney (2008): “Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence”
In a recent research paper, health economists David Cutler and Adriana Lleras-Muney analyze data primarily from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an annual cross-sectional household survey administered by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They find that higher levels of education are associated with lower adult mortality rates, lower frequencies of self-reported incidence of chronic and acute diseases, better functioning and mental health, as well as with lower reports of lost work days or days spent in bed. In addition, they find that more education is associated with better health behaviors: Better-educated individuals smoke less, engage in less heavy drinking, wear seatbelts more often, and consume more preventive care. This comments discusses selected strengths and weaknesses of Cutler and Lleras-Muney's study.
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