While there is no doubt that health is strongly correlated with education, whether schooling exerts a causal impact on health is not firmly established. We exploit a Dutch compulsory schooling law to estimate the causal effect of education on mortality. The reform provides a powerful instrument, significantly raising years of schooling, which, in turn, has a significant and robust negative effect on mortality. For men surviving to age 81, an extra year of schooling is estimated to reduce the probability of dying before the age of 89 by almost three percentage points relative to a baseline of 50 percent.

The Journal of Human Resources
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van Kippersluis, J.L.W, O'Donnell, O.A, & van Doorslaer, E.K.A. (2011). Long-run returns to education: Does schooling lead to an extended old age?. The Journal of Human Resources, 46(4), 695–721. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/89483