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The Effect of Schooling on Mortality : New Evidence From 50,000 Swedish Twins

Lundborg, Petter LU ; Lyttkens, Carl Hampus LU and Nystedt, Paul LU (2016) In Demography 53(4). p.1135-1168
Abstract

By using historical data on about 50,000 twins born in Sweden during 1886–1958, we demonstrate a positive and statistically significant relationship between years of schooling and longevity. This relation remains almost unchanged when exploiting a twin fixed-effects design to control for the influence of genetics and shared family background. This result is robust to controlling for within-twin-pair differences in early-life health and cognitive ability, as proxied by birth weight and height, as well as to restricting the sample to MZ twins. The relationship is fairly constant over time but becomes weaker with age. Literally, our results suggest that compared with low levels of schooling (less than 10 years), high levels of schooling... (More)

By using historical data on about 50,000 twins born in Sweden during 1886–1958, we demonstrate a positive and statistically significant relationship between years of schooling and longevity. This relation remains almost unchanged when exploiting a twin fixed-effects design to control for the influence of genetics and shared family background. This result is robust to controlling for within-twin-pair differences in early-life health and cognitive ability, as proxied by birth weight and height, as well as to restricting the sample to MZ twins. The relationship is fairly constant over time but becomes weaker with age. Literally, our results suggest that compared with low levels of schooling (less than 10 years), high levels of schooling (at least 13 years of schooling) are associated with about three years longer life expectancy at age 60 for the considered birth cohorts. The real societal value of schooling may hence extend beyond pure labor market and economic growth returns. From a policy perspective, schooling may therefore be a vehicle for improving longevity and health, as well as equality along these dimensions.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Longevity, Mortality, Schooling, Stratified partial likelihood, Twins
in
Demography
volume
53
issue
4
pages
34 pages
publisher
Population Assn Amer
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84978035999
ISSN
0070-3370
DOI
10.1007/s13524-016-0489-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
193c42d6-218e-4929-aef8-f85b86504715
date added to LUP
2016-07-25 13:53:48
date last changed
2016-11-09 10:34:26
@misc{193c42d6-218e-4929-aef8-f85b86504715,
  abstract     = {<p>By using historical data on about 50,000 twins born in Sweden during 1886–1958, we demonstrate a positive and statistically significant relationship between years of schooling and longevity. This relation remains almost unchanged when exploiting a twin fixed-effects design to control for the influence of genetics and shared family background. This result is robust to controlling for within-twin-pair differences in early-life health and cognitive ability, as proxied by birth weight and height, as well as to restricting the sample to MZ twins. The relationship is fairly constant over time but becomes weaker with age. Literally, our results suggest that compared with low levels of schooling (less than 10 years), high levels of schooling (at least 13 years of schooling) are associated with about three years longer life expectancy at age 60 for the considered birth cohorts. The real societal value of schooling may hence extend beyond pure labor market and economic growth returns. From a policy perspective, schooling may therefore be a vehicle for improving longevity and health, as well as equality along these dimensions.</p>},
  author       = {Lundborg, Petter and Lyttkens, Carl Hampus and Nystedt, Paul},
  issn         = {0070-3370},
  keyword      = {Longevity,Mortality,Schooling,Stratified partial likelihood,Twins},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {1135--1168},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x56d08c0)},
  series       = {Demography},
  title        = {The Effect of Schooling on Mortality : New Evidence From 50,000 Swedish Twins},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13524-016-0489-3},
  volume       = {53},
  year         = {2016},
}