Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1300: Education and Health: Long-run Effects of Peers, Tracking and Years

Martin Fischer , Ulf-G Gerdtham (), Gawain Heckley (), Martin Karlsson (), Gustav Kjellsson () and Therese Nilsson ()
Additional contact information
Ulf-G Gerdtham: Department of Economics, Postal: Lund University
Gawain Heckley: Department of Health Economics, Postal: Lund University
Martin Karlsson: Healf Economics, Postal: University of Duisburg Essen
Gustav Kjellsson: University of Gothenburg
Therese Nilsson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden, and Department of Economics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Abstract: We investigate two parallel school reforms in Sweden to assess the long-run health effects of education. One reform only increased years of schooling, while the other increased years of schooling but also removed tracking leading to a more mixed socioeconomic peer group. By differencing the effects of the parallel reforms we can separate the effect of de-tracking and peers from that of more schooling. We find that the pure years of schooling reform reduced mortality and improved current health. Differencing the effects of the reforms shows significant differences in the estimated impacts, suggesting that de-tracking and subsequent peer effects resulted in worse health.

Keywords: Health returns to education; School tracking; Peer effects

JEL-codes: I12; I18; I26

45 pages, October 21, 2019

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