College Quality and Young Adult Health Behaviors

58 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2011

See all articles by Jason M. Fletcher

Jason M. Fletcher

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs; Yale University - School of Public Health

David E. Frisvold

University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 15, 2011

Abstract

Large literatures have shown important links between the quantity of completed education and health outcomes on one hand and the quality of schooling on a host of adult outcomes, such as wages, on the other hand. However, little research has been targeted to producing evidence of the link between school quality and health. The paper presents the first evidence in the literature on the potential short and intermediate term effects of attending a selective college on health behaviors during and following college attendance. Using a variety of empirical methods, this paper shows strong evidence that college quality reduces tobacco and marijuana use but has small and possibly positive effects on binge drinking. The effects on weight behaviors are suggestive of reduced weight, potentially through diet but not exercise change.

Keywords: college quality, smoking, binge drinking, marijuana, obesity

JEL Classification: I12, I21, J24

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Jason M. and Frisvold, David E., College Quality and Young Adult Health Behaviors (January 15, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1886745 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1886745

Jason M. Fletcher (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

David E. Frisvold

University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

21 E. Market St
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States
319-335-0957 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/frisvold/

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