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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Health Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Health Economics, 70, 102252, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.102252

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    Embargo ends: 23/06/21

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The causal effect of education on chronic health conditions in the UK

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Article number102252
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Health Economics
Volume70
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished
Early online date23/12/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We study the causal impact of education on chronic health conditions by exploitng two UK education policy reforms. The first reform raised the minimum school leaving age in 1972 and affected the lower end of the educational attainment distribution. The second reform is a combination of several policy changes that affected the broader educational attainment distribution in the early 1990s. Results are consistent across both reforms: an extra year of schooling has no statistically identifiable impact on the prevalence of most chronic health conditions. The exception is that both reforms led to a statistically significant reduction in the probability of having diabetes, and this result is robust across model specifications. However, even with the largest survey samples available in the UK, we are unable to statistically rule out moderate size educational effects for many of the other health conditions, although we generally find considerably smaller effects than OLS associations suggest.