NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Education and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment

Costas Meghir, Mårten Palme, Emilia Simeonova

NBER Working Paper No. 17932
Issued in March 2012
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   HE

We examine the effects of a major Swedish educational reform, that increased the years of compulsory schooling, on mortality and health. Using the gradual phase-in of the reform between 1949 and 1962 across municipalities, we estimate insignificant effects of the reform on mortality in the affected cohorts. From the confidence intervals we can rule out effects larger than 1-1.4 months of increased life expectancy. We find no significant impacts on mortality for individuals of low SES backgrounds, on deaths that are more likely to be affected by behavior, on hospitalizations, and consumption of prescribed drugs.

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This paper was revised on August 25, 2017

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17932

Forthcoming at American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

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