Mortality Risk and Educational Attainment of Black and White Men

27 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2004

See all articles by Li Gan

Li Gan

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Guan Gong

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2004

Abstract

This paper investigates to what extent the differences in education between black and white men can be explained by the differences in their mortality risks. A dynamic optimal stopping-point life cycle model is examined, in which group-level mortality risk plays an important role in determining individual-level mortality risk, health expenditure,and the amount of schooling. The model is calibrated to quantify the effect of mortality risks on schooling by taking the black and white male population as the respective reference groups for black men and white men. We find that the impact of mortality risk on schooling explains more than two-thirds of the empirical education differences between black and white males. This conclusion is robust to a set of plausible parameter values.

Suggested Citation

Gan, Li and Gong, Guan, Mortality Risk and Educational Attainment of Black and White Men (March 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10381. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=519170

Li Gan (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Guan Gong

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

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