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February 17, 2022: Jan Marcus (Universität Hamburg)

Jan Marcus (Universität Hamburg)

Does schooling affect longevity? Evidence from school entry cut-offs

Abstract: We use school entry cut-off rules to study the effects of schooling on mortality in Germany. Based on the 1970 Census and the full Cause-of-Death Statistics for Germany, we exploit information on the exact date of birth within a regression discontinuity framework. Individuals born just after the school entry cut-off are older when they enter school, and they are three percentage points more likely to earn a higher secondary school leaving certificate. In later life, those individuals born after the school entry cut-off are significantly less likely to die before age 70. Studying the causes of death, we find that the reduced mortality risk is mainly driven by fewer deaths associated with unhealthy behaviours over the life course.