Abstract

The literature on the effects of education on health has focused almost exclusively on mean impacts. In this paper, we estimate the distributional effects of education on health, investigating treatment effect heterogeneity. To overcome the endogeneity of education we exploit a natural experiment, the Raising of School Leaving Age Order of 1972 (ROSLA) which increased the minimum school-leaving age from 15 to 16 years in England, Wales and Scotland. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that the ROSLA affected anthropometrics, spirometry and blood pressure approximately 35 years later. Importantly, the effects vary across different dimensions of health and along the distribution of health within these dimensions. In particular, those at the bottom of the health distribution (the unhealthy) benefit the most from the extra education. Changes in labor market outcomes and SES are mechanisms driving our main findings. Taken together our results point to the importance of considering different dimensions of health and of moving beyond the analysis of mean impacts when investigating the role of education in the production of health.

 

 

 

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