Kemptner, Daniel Jürges, Hendrik Reinhold, Steffen
Year of Publication:
Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2010: Ökonomie der Familie - Session: Economic Aspects of Health B18-V1
In this paper, we investigate the causal effect of years of schooling on health and health-related behavior in West Germany. We apply an instrumental variables approach using changes in compulsory schooling laws which took place from 1949 to 1969 as natural experiments. These law changed generate exogenous variation in years of schooling both across states and over time. We find evidence for a strong and significant causal effect of years of schooling on long-term illness for men but not for women. Moreover, we provide evidence of a causal effect of education on the likelihood of having weight problems for both sexes. On the other hand, we find little evidence for a causal effect of education on smoking behavior. Overall, our estimates suggest significant non-monetary returns to education with respect to health and health-related behavior.
School reform Health Obesity Smoking Instrumental Variables