NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Impact of Poor Health on Education: New Evidence Using Genetic Markers

Weili Ding, Steven F. Lehrer, J. Niels Rosenquist, Janet Audrain-McGovern

NBER Working Paper No. 12304
Issued in June 2006
NBER Program(s):   ED   HC   HE

This paper examines the influence of health conditions on academic performance during adolescence. To account for the endogeneity of health outcomes and their interactions with risky behaviors we exploit natural variation within a set of genetic markers across individuals. We present strong evidence that these genetic markers serve as valid instruments with good statistical properties for ADHD, depression and obesity. They help to reveal a new dynamism from poor health to lower academic achievement with substantial heterogeneity in their impacts across genders. Our investigation further exposes the considerable challenges in identifying health impacts due to the prevalence of comorbid health conditions and endogenous health behaviors.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12304

Published: Ding, W., S. Lehrer, N. Rosenquist and J. Audrain-McGovern. "The Impact of Poor Health on Academic Performance: New Evidence Using Genetic Markers." Journal of Health Economics 28, 3 (May 2009): 578-597.

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