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Does an upward intergenerational educational spillover effect exist? The effect of children’s education on Chinese parents’ health

Ning Wei, Lülin Zhou () and Wenhao Huang ()
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Ning Wei: Jiangsu University
Lülin Zhou: Jiangsu University
Wenhao Huang: Xuzhou Medical University

International Journal of Health Economics and Management, 2022, vol. 22, issue 1, No 3, 69-89

Abstract: Abstract Background Research on the presence of an upward spillover effect of children’s education on parental health is rapidly developing. However, there are certain differences in the conclusions of relevant studies, and no consistent viewpoint has been reached. Methods Using the exogenous differences in education generated by the expansion of higher education enrollment that China implemented as a reform in 1999, we analyze this issue by studying the effect of children’s higher education on their parents’ health. Results The instrumental variable (IV) estimation results show that children who received higher education have a significant and positive effect on the physical health of their parents. Compared with the ordinary least squares (OLS) estimation results, the coefficient of the effect of children receiving higher education is larger in the IV estimation. Conclusions Children’s education can generate a significant active effect on parental health, affecting parental physical health via its effect on parental health cognition and health behaviors. Based on heterogeneity analyses, the effect of a son’s education on parental health is more significant than the effect of a daughter’s education, and among rural children, higher education has a more significant effect on parental health.

Keywords: Intergenerational; Education; Health; Upward spillover; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10754-021-09308-3

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