Original Paper

Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 673-701

First online:

The health returns to schooling—what can we learn from twins?

  • Petter LundborgAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Lund UniversityVU University AmsterdamIZATinbergen InstituteHealth Economics Program LundCentre for Economic Demography Lund Email author 

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This paper estimates the health returns to schooling, using a twin design. For this purpose, I use data on monozygotic twins from the Midlife in the United States survey. The results suggest that completing high school improves health, as measured through self-reported health, chronic conditions, and exercise behavior, but that additional schooling does not lead to additional health gains. Controlling for certain early life factors that may vary within twin pairs does not alter the main conclusions of this paper.


Health production Education Schooling Twins Returns to education Ability bias

JEL Classification

I12 I11 J14