The Relationship Between Education and Health in Russia. Does Younger School Enrollment Improve Health Outcomes in Adulthood?
AuthorJensen, Marius Johan
This thesis investigates the causal relationship between schooling and health outcomes in adulthood. It attempts to clarify if younger enrollment in the Russian primary school improved health later in life. Research on causal inferences in social processes and public services is important because it can give policy makers information on how to allocate resources more efficiently and more equitably. The fact that such research only indicate local treatment effects makes it relevant to add evidence from as many settings as possible. My motivation for conducting research in health and education economics is the distinctive feature of causality. Instead of describing how the worlds looks, causality explains how the world works. Only by fully understanding interactions are we able to create a society that ensures public welfare and individual well-being. To answer the research question, I used a school reform as a natural experiment to resemble randomized treatment conditions. The data was collected in the “Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey”, and the estimated results were derived in a sharp regression discontinuity design. The analysis shows that lowering school entry from age 7 to age 6 leads to better self-reported health and healthier body mass index in adulthood. However, the policy change is also shown to increase the probability of acquiring chronic health conditions, which is a deterioration in health. These causal inferences are almost the same as the correlations estimated in a regular OLS regression. The implication of this research is that formal education at age 6 does improve health later in life. Even if these effects are only local, we might suspect individuals in similar settings to acquire such results.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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