Education and Cancer Risk

33 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2014

See all articles by Edwin Leuven

Edwin Leuven

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Erik Plug

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE); Tinbergen Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marte Rønning

Norwegian University of Science and Technology - Department of Economics

Abstract

There exists a strong educational gradient in cancer risk, which has been documented in a wide range of populations. Yet relatively little is known about the extent to which education is causally linked to cancer incidence and mortality. This paper exploits a large social experiment where an education reform expanded compulsory schooling during the 1960s in Norway. The reform led to a discontinuous increase in educational attainment, which we exploit to estimate the effect of the reform on various cancer outcomes. Our main finding is that education has little if any impact on cancer risk. This holds for all cancer sites together as well as the most common cancer sites in isolation, with two exceptions. The compulsory school reform lowered the risk of lung cancer for men, but increased the risk of colorectal cancer for women.

Keywords: education, causality, health, cancer

JEL Classification: I12, I21

Suggested Citation

Leuven, Edwin and Plug, Erik and Rønning, Marte, Education and Cancer Risk. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7956. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2399775

Edwin Leuven (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 5241 (Phone)
+31 20 525 4310 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Erik Plug

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
1018 WB Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 5254311 (Phone)
+31 20 5254310 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Marte Rønning

Norwegian University of Science and Technology - Department of Economics ( email )

Høgskoleringen
Trondheim NO-7491, 7491
Norway

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
28
Abstract Views
265
PlumX Metrics