farrell_fuchs_lec6

farrell_fuchs_lec6 - NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES SCHOOLING...

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Unformatted text preview: NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES SCHOOLING AND HEALTH. THE CIGARETTE CONNECTION Phiflip Farrell Victor R. Fuchs Working Paper No. 68 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge MA 02138 September 1981 This research was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Stanford University Heart Disease Prevention Program generously provided the survey data that made this study possible. Helpful comments on an earlier draft were provided by Jeffrey Harris, Michael Grossman, Eugene Lewit, and Wm. Byron Brown. The research reported here is part of the NBER's research program in Health Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. NBER Working Paper #768 September 1981 Schooling and Health: The Cigarette Connection ABSTRACT Numerous studies by economists during the past decade have revealed a large, statistically significant correlation between health and years of schooling after controlling for differences in income and other variables. Cigarette smoking is a likely intervening variable because of the strong effect of smoking on morbidity and mortality, and because there is a strong negative correlation between smoking and years of schoolingat least at high school levels and above. This paper tests the hypothesis that schooling causes differences in smoking behavior. We use retrospective smoking histories of 1,183 white, nonHispanic men and women who had completed 12 to 18 years of schooling. The data were collected in 1979 by the Stanford University Heart Disease Prevention Program from randomly selected house- holds in four small California cities. The most striking result is that the negative relation between schooling and smoking observed at age 24 is accounted for by differences in smoking behavior present at age 17, when all subjects were still in approximately the same grade. We conclude that additional years of schooling cannot be the cause of differential smoking behavior; one or more "third variables" must cause changes in both smoking and schooling. Analysis of smoking by cohort reveals that the schoolingsmoking correlation developed only after the health consequences of smoking became widely known; it has remained strong even in the most recent cohorts. This implies that the mechanism behind the schoolingsmoking correlation may also give rise to the schoolinghealth correlation. Phillip Farrell and Victor R. Fuchs both at National Bureau of Economic Research 204 Junipero Serra Boulevard Stanford, California 94305 415/ 3267160 SCHOOLING AND HEALTH: THE CIGARETTE CONNECTION Phillip Farrell and Victor R. Fuchs One of the strongest generalizations to emerge from empirical research on health in the United States is a positive correlation between years of schooling and health status. At one time this relationship was viewed as a "class" or "socioeconomic status" effect and was thought to be significantly influenced by a positive relation between...
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farrell_fuchs_lec6 - NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES SCHOOLING...

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