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Could Easier Access to University Improve Health and Reduce Health Inequalities?

Heckley, Gawain LU ; Nordin, Martin LU and Gerdtham, Ulf-Göran LU (2018) In Working Papers
Abstract
This paper estimates the impact of university education on medical care use and its income related inequality. We do this by exploiting an arbitrary university eligibility rule in Sweden combined with regression discontinuity design for the years 2003-2013 for students who graduated 2003-2005. We find a clear jump in university attendance due to university eligibility. This jump coincides with a positive jump in prescriptions for contraceptives for females but also a positive jump in mental health related hospital admissions for males. Analysis of the inequality impact of tertiary eligibility finds no clear impact on medical care use by socioeconomic status of the parents. The results imply that easing access to university for the lower... (More)
This paper estimates the impact of university education on medical care use and its income related inequality. We do this by exploiting an arbitrary university eligibility rule in Sweden combined with regression discontinuity design for the years 2003-2013 for students who graduated 2003-2005. We find a clear jump in university attendance due to university eligibility. This jump coincides with a positive jump in prescriptions for contraceptives for females but also a positive jump in mental health related hospital admissions for males. Analysis of the inequality impact of tertiary eligibility finds no clear impact on medical care use by socioeconomic status of the parents. The results imply that easing access to university for the lower ability student will lead to an increase in contraceptive use without increasing its socioeconomic related inequality. At the same time, the results highlight that universities may need to do more to take care of the mental health of their least able students. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
This paper estimates the impact of university education on medical care use and its income related inequality. We do this by exploiting an arbitrary university eligibility rule in Sweden combined with regression discontinuity design for the years 2003-2013 for students who graduated 2003-2005. We find a clear jump in university attendance due to university eligibility. This jump coincides with a positive jump in prescriptions for contraceptives for females but also a positive jump in mental health related hospital admissions for males. Analysis of the inequality impact of tertiary eligibility finds no clear impact on medical care use by socioeconomic status of the parents. The results imply that easing access to university for the lower... (More)
This paper estimates the impact of university education on medical care use and its income related inequality. We do this by exploiting an arbitrary university eligibility rule in Sweden combined with regression discontinuity design for the years 2003-2013 for students who graduated 2003-2005. We find a clear jump in university attendance due to university eligibility. This jump coincides with a positive jump in prescriptions for contraceptives for females but also a positive jump in mental health related hospital admissions for males. Analysis of the inequality impact of tertiary eligibility finds no clear impact on medical care use by socioeconomic status of the parents. The results imply that easing access to university for the lower ability student will lead to an increase in contraceptive use without increasing its socioeconomic related inequality. At the same time, the results highlight that universities may need to do more to take care of the mental health of their least able students. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Working paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Health returns to education, demand for medical care, causes of health inequality, Regression Discontinuity Design, Concentration Index, Health returns to education, demand for medical care, causes of health inequality, Regression Discontinuity Design, Concentration Index, I12, I14, I26
in
Working Papers
issue
2018:5
pages
41 pages
publisher
Department of Economics, Lund University
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0d0d3f64-37b6-4964-a8ec-93b315d98bf5
alternative location
https://swopec.hhs.se/lunewp/abs/lunewp2018_005.htm
date added to LUP
2018-03-13 20:05:59
date last changed
2019-03-08 02:53:36
@misc{0d0d3f64-37b6-4964-a8ec-93b315d98bf5,
  abstract     = {This paper estimates the impact of university education on medical care use and its income related inequality. We do this by exploiting an arbitrary university eligibility rule in Sweden combined with regression discontinuity design for the years 2003-2013 for students who graduated 2003-2005. We find a clear jump in university attendance due to university eligibility. This jump coincides with a positive jump in prescriptions for contraceptives for females but also a positive jump in mental health related hospital admissions for males. Analysis of the inequality impact of tertiary eligibility finds no clear impact on medical care use by socioeconomic status of the parents. The results imply that easing access to university for the lower ability student will lead to an increase in contraceptive use without increasing its socioeconomic related inequality. At the same time, the results highlight that universities may need to do more to take care of the mental health of their least able students. },
  author       = {Heckley, Gawain and Nordin, Martin and Gerdtham, Ulf-Göran},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {2018:5},
  publisher    = {Department of Economics, Lund University },
  series       = {Working Papers},
  title        = {Could Easier Access to University Improve Health and Reduce Health Inequalities?},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/40012492/wp18_5.pdf},
  year         = {2018},
}