The Impact of Education on Health and Health Behavior in a Middle-Income, Low-Education Country

48 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2014 Last revised: 5 Jan 2015

See all articles by Resul Cesur

Resul Cesur

University of Connecticut, School of Business - Dept. of Healthcare Economics

Bahadir Dursun

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Economics

Naci H. Mocan

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 2014

Abstract

Although the impact of education on health is important for economic policy in developing countries, the overwhelming majority of research to identify the health returns to education has been done using data from developed countries. We use data from three waves of a nationally-representative health survey, conducted between 2008 and 2012 in Turkey, and exploit an education reform that increased the mandatory years of schooling from 5 to 8 years in 1997. Using exposure to the reform as an instrument for education, we find that for women ages 18-30, education has no impact on self-reported health, BMI, overweight, obesity, or on the propensity or intensity of smoking. Education does not influence women’s daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, or their propensity to get a flu shot either. The same results are obtained for men of the same age group with one exception: education increases men’s BMI and the propensity to be overweight and obese. Potential explanations for these findings are provided.

Suggested Citation

Cesur, Resul and Dursun, Bahadir and Mocan, Naci H., The Impact of Education on Health and Health Behavior in a Middle-Income, Low-Education Country (December 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20764. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2541540

Resul Cesur (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut, School of Business - Dept. of Healthcare Economics ( email )

School of Business
2100 Hillside Road
Storrs, CT 06269
United States

Bahadir Dursun

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of economics
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6308
United States

Naci H. Mocan

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of economics
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6308
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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