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Schooling and adult health: Can education overcome bad early-life conditions?

Pedro Albarran Pérez (), Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo () and Inigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe ()
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Pedro Albarran Pérez: Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico
Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo: Universidad de Alicante

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo ()

Working Papers. Serie AD from Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie)

Abstract: We provide new evidence on the causal effect of schooling on self-reported health and focus on its possible heterogeneous impact. We use data from the 2005 and 2011 cross sections of EU-SILC, exploiting quasi-experimental evidence from schooling reforms in 16 European countries that extend the period of compulsory schooling. Our estimation strategy uses the number of years of compulsory education as an instrument for education levels. We find that reforms affect positively the schooling level only for those individuals from low-educated families. The education level is a strong determinant of adult self-perceived health: one additional year of schooling raises the probability of reporting good health by about seven percentage points. However, this effect is not homogeneous. On the contrary, the effect concentrates on individuals who were raised in relatively well-off families. Our interpretation is that we identify the effect of an exogenous variation in education that occurs in the adolescent years, when it may be too late to have a significant impact on individuals with a poor family background.

Keywords: Schooling reforms; compulsory education; health outcomes; EU-SILC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 I2 I3 J6 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 51 pages
Date: 2017-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur and nep-hea
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