The Effects of Education on Mortality: Evidence Using College Expansions

Hamid Noghanibehambari, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jason Fletcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This paper explores the long-run health benefits of education for longevity. Using mortality data from the Social Security Administration (1988-2005) linked to geographic locations in the 1940-census data, we exploit changes in college availability across cohorts in local areas. We estimate an intent to treat effect of exposure to an additional 4-year college around age 17 of increasing longevity by 0.13 months; treatment on the treated calculations suggest increases in longevity between 1-1.6 years. Some further analyses suggest the results are not driven by pre-tends, endogenous migration, and other time-varying local confounders. This paper adds to the literature on the health and social benefits of education.

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 Presented in Session 160. Healthcare and Health Insurance in Domestic and Imperial Settings