Back to School: The Health Consequences of Returning to School after First Labor Force Entry
Richard Miech, University of Colorado at Denver
This study examines whether the attainment of an additional educational degree after first labor force entry significantly improves health. On the one hand, theories that posit a causal influence of education on good health would predict health improvements among people who obtain additional degrees at any point in the life course. On the other hand, the alternative hypothesis is that additional education will have no effect on health. The analysis uses the longitudinal, nationally-representative Add Health study and focuses on approximately 12,000 respondents who were first interviewed in 1994-5 when they were in 7th-12th grade and last interviewed in 2007-2009. The health outcomes examined were self-rated health, body mass index (bmi), obesity, and hypertension stage 2. Acquisition of an additional educational degree after first labor force entry significantly improved all health outcomes examined, at least among people who entered the labor force with a high school/AA degree.
Presented in Session 194: Education and Health