Education, Cognition and Health: Evidence from a Social Experiment

43 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2013 Last revised: 4 Jun 2021

See all articles by Costas Meghir

Costas Meghir

Yale University; Yale University - Cowles Foundation; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Emilia Simeonova

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Date Written: April 2013

Abstract

In this paper we examine how an education policy intervention - the introduction of a comprehensive school in Sweden that increased the number of compulsory years of schooling, affected cognitive and non-cognitive skills and long-term health. We use detailed administrative data combined with survey information to create a data set with background information, child ability and long-term adult outcomes. We show that extra education results in significant gains in skills among children, but the effects on long-term health are overall negligible. However, we demonstrate that the schooling reform had heterogeneous effects across family socio-economic backgrounds and initial skill endowments, with significant improvements in cognition and skills for lower Socio-economic status individuals and lower ability people.

Suggested Citation

Meghir, Costas and Palme, Marten and Simeonova, Emilia, Education, Cognition and Health: Evidence from a Social Experiment (April 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2257192

Costas Meghir (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

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Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Emilia Simeonova

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

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