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The Effect of Adolescent Health on Educational Outcomes: Causal Evidence using ‘Genetic Lotteries’ between Siblings

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  • Fletcher, Jason M.
  • Lehrer, Steven F.

Abstract

There has been growing interest in using specific genetic markers as instrumental variables in attempts to assess causal relationships between health status and socioeconomic outcomes, including human capital accumulation. In this paper we use a combination of family fixed effects and genetic marker instruments to show strong evidence that inattentive symptoms of ADHD in childhood and depressive symptoms as an adolescent are linked with years of completed schooling. Our estimates suggest that controlling for family fixed effects is important but these strategies cannot fully account for the endogeneity of poor mental heath. Finally, our results demonstrate that the presence of comorbid conditions present immense challenges for empirical studies that aim to estimate the impact of specific health conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Fletcher, Jason M. & Lehrer, Steven F., 2009. "The Effect of Adolescent Health on Educational Outcomes: Causal Evidence using ‘Genetic Lotteries’ between Siblings," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-40, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Jun 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2009-40
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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2032%20-%20Lehrer%20-%20Genetic%20Lotteries.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cook, C. Justin & Fletcher, Jason M., 2015. "Can education rescue genetic liability for cognitive decline?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 159-170.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education Outcomes; Depression; Genetic Markers; ADHD; Obesity; Family Fixed Effects; and Instrumental Variables;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models

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