Does more education always improve mental health? Evidence from a British compulsory schooling reform
Avendano, M.; de Coulon, A.; Nafilyan, V.;
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Augustin de Coulon and
Vahé Nafilyan ()
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers from HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York
In this paper, we test whether education has a causal effect on mental health by exploiting a compulsory schooling reform in 1972, which raised the minimum school leaving age from 15 to 16 years old in Great Britain. Using a regression discontinuity design, we provide robust evidence that although the reform increased educational attainment, it also increased the prevalence of depression and other mental health conditions in adulthood. Our results do not imply that more schooling per se leads to poorer mental health, but rather suggest that forcing low achieving teenagers to remain in an academic environment may have long-term unintended consequences on their mental health.
Keywords: Mental health; education; compulsory schooling; UK (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I21 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur and nep-hea
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:yor:hectdg:17/10
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