Clark, D. & Royer, H. (2013) American Economic Review, 103(6), 2087 - 2120. [ONS LS]
Other information: Abstract:
There is a strong, positive, and well-documented correlation between education and health outcomes. In this paper, we attempt to understand to what extent this relationship is causal. Our approach exploits two changes to British compulsory schooling laws that generated sharp across-cohort differences in educational attainment. Using regression discontinuity methods, we find the reforms did not affect health although the reforms impacted educational attainment and wages. Our results suggest caution as to the likely health returns to educational interventions focused on increasing educational attainment among those at risk of dropping out of high school, a target of recent health policy efforts.