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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol, Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mastrobuoni, Giovanni / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / de Vries, Frans / Zulehner, Christine

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Volume 18, Issue 4


Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

A Sibling-Pair Analysis for Causal Effect of Education on Health

Yu Bai / Yanjun LiORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6650-5031
Published Online: 2018-08-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2018-0121


This paper examines the causal effect of education on long-run physical health, using survey data on matched siblings. By adopting a sibling-differences strategy, we are able to obtain estimates that are not biased by unobserved genetic factors and family background which affect both education and health. To address the potential endogenous shocks that affect siblings differently within the family, we further employ an instrumental variable approach by exploiting a profound disturbance in the education system during the Cultural Revolution in China. The within-sibling estimates suggest that an additional year of schooling is found to be positively related to health status later in life (better self-reported health, lower probability of feeling uncomfortable, getting chronic diseases, and being underweight). We also unravel the potential roles of income and cognition in the effects of education on health.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: siblings; health outcomes; returns to schooling; the cultural revolution

JEL Classification: I12; I15; J14


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-08-17

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 18, Issue 4, 20180121, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2018-0121.

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