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Title:Does schooling affect health behavior? Evidence from the educational expansion in Western Germany PDF Logo
Authors:Jürges, Hendrik
Reinhold, Steffen
Salm, Martin
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 4330
Abstract:During the postwar period German states pursued policies to increase the share of young Germans obtaining a university entrance diploma (Abitur) by building more academic track schools, but the timing of educational expansion differed between states. This creates exogenous variation in the availability of higher education, which allows estimating the causal effect of education on health behaviors. Using the number of academic track schools in a state as an instrumental variable for years of schooling, we investigate the causal effect of schooling on health behavior such as smoking and related outcomes such as obesity. We find large negative effects of education on smoking. These effects can mostly be attributed to reductions in starting rates rather than increases in quitting rates. We find no causal effect of education on reduced overweight and obesity.
Subjects:Education
smoking
obesity
JEL:I12
I20
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-20090909265
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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