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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 6 (October 2013)

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The Effect of Education on Adult Mortality and Health: Evidence from Britain

Article Citation

Clark, Damon, and Heather Royer. 2013. "The Effect of Education on Adult Mortality and Health: Evidence from Britain." American Economic Review, 103(6): 2087-2120.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.6.2087

Abstract

There is a strong, positive, and well-documented correlation between education and health outcomes. In this paper, we attempt to understand to what extent this relationship is causal. Our approach exploits two changes to British compulsory schooling laws that generated sharp across-cohort differences in educational attainment. Using regression discontinuity methods, we find the reforms did not affect health although the reforms impacted educational attainment and wages. Our results suggest caution as to the likely health returns to educational interventions focused on increasing educational attainment among those at risk of dropping out of high school, a target of recent health policy efforts.

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Authors

Clark, Damon (U CA, Irvine)
Royer, Heather (U CA, Santa Barbara)

JEL Classifications

H52: National Government Expenditures and Education
I12: Health Production
I21: Analysis of Education
I28: Education: Government Policy


American Economic Review


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