Abstract

Schooling generally is positively associated with better health-related outcomes—for example, less hospitalization and later mortality—but these associations do not measure whether schooling causes better health-related outcomes. Schooling may in part be a proxy for unobserved endowments—including family background and genetics—that both are correlated with schooling and have direct causal effects on these outcomes. This study addresses the schooling-health-gradient issue with twins methodology, using rich data from the Danish Twin Registry linked to population-based registries to minimize random and systematic measurement error biases. We find strong, significantly negative associations between schooling and hospitalization and mortality, but generally no causal effects of schooling.

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