The relationship between education and health: is it causal?
University of California, Los Angeles, 2007 - 240 pages
An extensive body of literature documents a relationship between formal education and health that is strong, broad, and persistent. When presented with such a robust association, it is natural to make the leap, implicitly if not explicitly, to a presumption of causality. However, some have questioned the causal link on both conceptual and empirical grounds, arguing that the apparent relationship between education and health might in fact be due in some part to third factors common to both educational attainment and health, but generally omitted from empirical models. The omitted-variables problem is exacerbated by the nature of most health-specific surveys. Such surveys, while rich in health data, generally provide sparse information about respondents' socioeconomic circumstances in youth, when educational intentions and possible determinants of adult health behaviors are formed.
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Conceptual and Measurement Models
Data and Methods
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AFQT analyses binge drinking college proximity conceptual confidence intervals covariates current smoking dependent variable Descriptive Statistics education and health educational attainment effect of education endogenous Estimate z-statistic Estimate estimated effect Evaluation excellent/good health Exercise Scale Father foreign Female health behaviors health knowledge health limitation health outcomes health status Hispanic household reading materials instrumental variables job activity Kirk language in home Locus of Control measurement model models of health Mother Mother's ed imputed mother's education NLSY Number of Children Number of older Number of siblings omitted variables bias opportunity cost Ordinary Least Squares parent predicted margins probit models recent check-up Regressor relationship between education relative risk Religion Baptist Religion Episcopalian Religion Lutheran Religion Methodist Religion Presbyterian residence in youth respondents Rotter Locus Rural at age scores self-efficacy significant single equation South at age Table Two-Stage Least Squares unemployment rate Wald tests youth health z-statistic Estimate z-statistic