, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 1347–1375 | Cite as

Does More Schooling Reduce Hospitalization and Delay Mortality? New Evidence Based on Danish Twins

  • Jere R. BehrmanEmail author
  • Hans-Peter Kohler
  • Vibeke Myrup Jensen
  • Dorthe Pedersen
  • Inge Petersen
  • Paul Bingley
  • Kaare Christensen


Schooling generally is positively associated with better health-related outcomes—for example, less hospitalization and later mortality—but these associations do not measure whether schooling causes better health-related outcomes. Schooling may in part be a proxy for unobserved endowments—including family background and genetics—that both are correlated with schooling and have direct causal effects on these outcomes. This study addresses the schooling-health-gradient issue with twins methodology, using rich data from the Danish Twin Registry linked to population-based registries to minimize random and systematic measurement error biases. We find strong, significantly negative associations between schooling and hospitalization and mortality, but generally no causal effects of schooling.


Health-schooling gradients Schooling Mortality Hospitalization Twins 



This study is part of a large collaborative project, involving the authors of this article and others, that is supported in part by NICHD Grants HD046144 (“Causal Effects of Schooling on Adult and Child Health”) and HD043417 (“Bio-Social Determinants of Fertility and Related Behaviors”). The authors thank participants at a session in which this article was presented at the 2006 annual meetings of the Population Association of America in Los Angeles, CA; three reviewers; the editor; and Mia Madsen for helpful comments on previous versions of the article.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jere R. Behrman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hans-Peter Kohler
    • 2
  • Vibeke Myrup Jensen
    • 3
  • Dorthe Pedersen
    • 4
  • Inge Petersen
    • 4
  • Paul Bingley
    • 3
  • Kaare Christensen
    • 4
  1. 1.Economics and SociologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Danish National Centre for Social ResearchCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.The Danish Twin Registry and The Danish Aging Research CenterUniversity of Southern DenmarkCopenhagenDenmark

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