Health Endowments, Schooling Allocation in the Family, and Longevity: Evidence from US Twins

36 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2018 Last revised: 5 Nov 2020

See all articles by Peter A. Savelyev

Peter A. Savelyev

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

Benjamin Ward

Vanderbilt University

Robert F. Krueger

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Psychology

Matt McGue

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Psychology

Date Written: November 4, 2020

Abstract

We analyze data from the Minnesota Twin Registry (MTR), combined with the Socioeconomic Survey of Twins (SST), and new mortality data, and contribute to two bodies of literature. First, we demonstrate a beneficial casual effect of education on health and longevity in contrast to other twin-based studies of the US population, which show little or no effect of education on health. Second, we present evidence that parents compensate for differences in their children’s health endowments through education, but find no evidence that parents reinforce differences in skill endowments. We argue that there is a bias towards detecting reinforcement both in this paper and in the literature. Our compensation result for health endowment holds, as it is obtained despite the bias. We account for observed and unobserved confounding factors, sample selection bias, and measurement error in education.

Keywords: health endowment, skill endowment, intrafamily resource allocation, education, health, longevity, twin study, Minnesota Twin Registry

JEL Classification: I12, I140, I240, J130, J24

Suggested Citation

Savelyev, Peter A. and Ward, Benjamin and Krueger, Robert F. and McGue, Matt, Health Endowments, Schooling Allocation in the Family, and Longevity: Evidence from US Twins (November 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3193396 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3193396

Peter A. Savelyev (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
7573788654 (Phone)

Benjamin Ward

Vanderbilt University ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Robert F. Krueger

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Psychology ( email )

Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Matt McGue

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Psychology ( email )

Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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