Empirical Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 369-394

First online:

Quality of schooling and inequality of opportunity in health

  • Andrew M. JonesAffiliated withDepartment of Economics and Related Studies, University of York Email author 
  • , Nigel RiceAffiliated withCentre for Health Economics, University of York
  • , Pedro Rosa DiasAffiliated withCentre for Health Economics, University of York

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This paper explores the role of quality of schooling as a source of inequality of opportunity in health. Substantiating earlier literature that links differences in education to health disparities, the paper uses variation in quality of schooling to test for inequality of opportunity in health. Analysis of the 1958 NCDS cohort exploits the variation in type and quality of schools generated by the comprehensive schooling reforms in England and Wales. The analysis provides evidence of a statistically significant and economically sizable association between some dimensions of quality of education and a range of health and health-related outcomes. For some outcomes the association persists, over and above the effects of measured ability, social development, academic qualifications and adult socioeconomic status and lifestyle.


Health Quality of education Inequality of opportunity NCDS

JEL classification

I12 I28 C21