Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability

41 Pages Posted: 1 May 2013

See all articles by Govert E. Bijwaard

Govert E. Bijwaard

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI); Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Hans van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Justus Veenman

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Institute for Sociological and Economic Research; Tinbergen Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 30, 2013

Abstract

We aim to disentangle the relative contributions of (i) cognitive ability, and (ii) education on health and mortality using a structural equation model suggested by Conti et al. (2010). We extend their model by allowing for a duration dependent variable, and an ordinal educational variable. Data come from a Dutch cohort born around 1940, including detailed measures of cognitive ability and family background at age 12. The data are subsequently linked to the mortality register 1995-2011, such that we observe mortality between ages 55 and 75. The results suggest that the treatment effect of education (i.e. the effect of entering secondary school as opposed to leaving school after primary education) is positive and amounts to a 4 years gain in life expectancy, on average. Decomposition results suggest that the raw survival differences between educational groups are about equally split between a ‘treatment effect’ of education, and a ‘selection effect’ on basis of cognitive ability and family background.

Keywords: education, cognitive ability, mortality, structural equation model, duration model

JEL Classification: C410, I140, I240

Suggested Citation

Bijwaard, Govert and van Kippersluis, Hans and Veenman, Justus, Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability (April 30, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4207, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2258381

Govert Bijwaard

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) ( email )

P.O. Box 11650
NL-2502 AR The Hague
Netherlands
+31 70 3565224 (Phone)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Hans Van Kippersluis (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Justus Veenman

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Institute for Sociological and Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 408 2776 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9141 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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