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Education and cancer risk

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Abstract

There exists a strong educational gradient in cancer risk, which has been documented in a wide range of populations. Yet relatively little is known about the extent to which education is causally linked to cancer incidence and mortality. This paper exploits a large social experiment where an education reform expanded compulsory schooling during the 1960s in Norway. The reform led to a discontinuous increase in educational attainment, which we exploit to estimate the effect of the reform on various cancer outcomes. Our main finding is that education has little if any impact on cancer risk. This holds for all cancer sites together as well as the most common cancer sites in isolation, with two exceptions. The compulsory school reform lowered the risk of lung cancer for men, but increased the risk of colorectal cancer for women.

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  • Edwin Leuven & Erik Plug & Marte Rønning, 2014. "Education and cancer risk," Discussion Papers 777, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:777
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    File URL: https://www.ssb.no/en/forskning/discussion-papers/_attachment/170601
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    Cited by:

    1. Dang, Thang, 2017. "Does the More Educated Utilize More Health Care Services? Evidence from Vietnam Using a Regression Discontinuity Design," MPRA Paper 77641, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Govert E. Bijwaard & Mikko Myrskylä & Per Tynelius & Finn Rasmussen, 2017. "Educational gain in cause-specific mortality: accounting for confounders," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2017-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:socmed:v:184:y:2017:i:c:p:49-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Titus J. Galama & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Hans van Kippersluis, 2018. "The Effect of Education on Health and Mortality: A Review of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 24225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Causality; Health; Cancer;

    JEL classification:

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

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