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Does women's education affect breast cancer risk and survival? Evidence from a population based social experiment in education

Mårten Palme () and Emilia Simeonova ()

Journal of Health Economics, 2015, vol. 42, issue C, 115-124

Abstract: Breast cancer is a notable exception to the well documented positive education gradient in health. A number of studies have found that highly educated women are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease. Breast cancer is therefore often labeled as a “welfare disease”. However, it has not been established whether the strong positive correlation holds up when education is exogenously determined. We estimate the causal effect of education on the probability of being diagnosed with breast cancer by exploiting an education reform that extended compulsory schooling and was implemented as a social experiment. We find that the incidence of breast cancer increased for those exposed to the reform.

Keywords: Education gradient in health; Schooling reform; Breast cancer (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:42:y:2015:i:c:p:115-124