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Explaining the Rise in Educational Gradients in Mortality

David Cutler (), Fabian Lange (), Ellen Meara, Seth Richards-Shubik and Christopher Ruhm ()

No 15678, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The long-standing inverse relationship between education and mortality strengthened substantially later in the 20th century. This paper examines the reasons for this increase. We show that behavioral risk factors are not of primary importance. Smoking has declined more for the better educated, but not enough to explain the trend. Obesity has risen at similar rates across education groups, and control of blood pressure and cholesterol has increased fairly uniformly as well. Rather, our results show that the mortality returns to risk factors, and conditional on risk factors, the return to education, have grown over time.

JEL-codes: I1 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-01
Note: HC HE
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Published as Cutler, David M, Fabian Lange, Ellen Meara, Seth Richards-Shubik, and Christopher J Ruhme. 2011. Rising Educational Gradients in Mortality: The Role of Behavioral Factors. Journal of Health Economcis 30, no. 6: 1174-1187.

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