CDEP-CGEG WORKING PAPER NO. 70

The Effect of Education on Mortality and Health: Evidence from Schooling Expansion in Romania

Ofer Malamud, Andreea Mitrut, and Cristian Pop-Eleches

Abstract:

This paper examines a schooling expansion in Romania that increased educational attainment for successive cohorts born between 1945 and 1950. We use a regression discontinuity design at the day level based on school entry cutoff dates to estimate impacts on mortality with 1994-2016 Vital Statistics data and self-reported health with 2011 Census data. We find that the schooling reform led to significant increases in years of schooling, higher employment rates, and reductions in fertility, but did not affect mortality, hospitalizations, or self-reported health. These estimates provide new evidence on the causal relationship between education and mortality outside of high income countries and at lower margins of educational attainment.

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