Does schooling affect health behavior? Evidence from educational expansion in Western Germany


Jürges, Hendrik ; Reinhold, Steffen ; Salm, Martin


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/2431
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-24313
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2009
The title of a journal, publication series: MEA Discussion Papers
Volume: 186
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Sonstige - Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des MEA (Mannheim Research Institute For the Economics of Aging) > MEA Discussion Papers
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Classification: JEL: I12 I20 ,
Subject headings (SWD): Deutschland <Westliche Länder> , Schulbildung , Reifeprüfung , Gesundheitsverhalten , Rauchen , Übergewicht
Keywords (English): Ecudation , Smoking , Obesity
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.
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Jürges, Hendrik ; Reinhold, Steffen ; Salm, Martin (2009) Does schooling affect health behavior? Evidence from educational expansion in Western Germany. Open Access MEA Discussion Papers Mannheim 186 [Working paper]
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