Does children’s education improve parental health and longevity? Causal evidence from Great Britain

Potente, C., Präg, P. & Monden, C. W. S (2023) Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 64(1), 21-38 [ONS LS]

Other information:

Parents with better-educated children are healthier and live longer, but whether there is a causal effect of children’s education on their parents’ health and longevity is unclear. First, we demonstrate an association between adults’ offspring education and parental mortality in the 1958 British birth cohort study, which remains substantial—about two additional years of life—even when comparing parents with similar socioeconomic status. Second, we use the 1972 educational reform in England and Wales, which increased the minimum school leaving age from 15 to 16 years, to identify the presence of a causal effect of children’s education on parental health and longevity using census-linked data from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study. Results reveal that children’s education has no causal effects on a wide range of parental mortality and health outcomes. We interpret these findings discussing the role of universal health care and education for socioeconomic inequality in Great Britain.

Available online: Journal of Health and Social Behaviour,
Output from project: 1007948


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