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Children’s Education and Parental Health

Zhiqiang Liu

American Journal of Health Economics, 2021, vol. 7, issue 1, 95 - 130

Abstract: In this paper we estimate the effect of adult children’s education on parental health using data from the 2011 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). We find that parents of better-educated children have better health, measured by self-rated health status. Using geographic proximity to school as the instrumental variable, we find that an extra year of children’s education could increase the probability of parental good health status by about 7.7 percentage points. This result is corroborated by the estimates based on an alternative identification strategy. We also find suggestive evidence that smoking behavior, use of preventive care, and especially management of chronic conditions are potential channels through which children’s education can improve parental health.

Date: 2021
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