The Relationship between Education and Mortality: Evidence from Canada

Title: The Relationship between Education and Mortality: Evidence from Canada
Authors: Ye, Zhenzhen
Date: 2015-04-30
Abstract: A positive relationship between health and education is well-established [Grossman, 1972]. However, the empirical estimation of the effect of education on health is plaque with endogeneity problems. Specifically, the direction of the causal relationship is unclear and the estimates suffer from omitted variable bias. This study investigates causal relationship between education and mortality rate in Canada using Canadian Censuses of 1971, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996 and 2001. Following Lleras-Muney (2005), I construct synthetic cohorts and use Canadian compulsory schooling laws from 1920 to 1970 as instruments for education. I find that education has a significant and negative impact on mortality rates in Canada -- increasing educational attainment lowers the average mortality rate. Moreover, I find that cohorts with higher proportions of individuals who graduated from high school or who obtained university degrees have lower mortality rates than those who do not. These findings suggest that policies that focus on increasing educational attainment, with a special emphasis on secondary education, might be a powerful tool to improve the health of Canadians in the long term.
CollectionÉconomie - Mémoires // Economics - Research Papers