Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 1191–1215 | Cite as

The health-schooling relationship: evidence from Swedish twins

Original Paper


Health and education are known to be highly correlated, but the mechanisms behind the relationship are not well understood. In particular, there is sparse evidence on whether adolescent health may influence educational attainment. Using a large registry dataset of twins, including comprehensive information on health status at the age of 18 and later educational attainment, we investigate whether health predicts final education within monozygotic (identical) twin pairs. We find no evidence of this and conclude that health in adolescence may not have an influence on the level of schooling. Instead, raw correlations between adolescent health and schooling appear to be driven by genes and twin-pair-specific environmental factors.


Twins Twin-fixed effects Education Health Specific conditions 

JEL Classification

I10 I14 I21 I24 



Research grants from the Centre for Economic Demography and from the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation are gratefully acknowledged. We thank two anonymous referees for their help and guidance.

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by the Centre for Economic Demography and the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petter Lundborg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anton Nilsson
    • 3
    • 4
  • Dan-Olof Rooth
    • 5
    • 6
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics and Centre for Economic DemographyLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.IZABonnGermany
  3. 3.Centre for Economic Demography and Department of EconomicsLund UniversityLundSweden
  4. 4.Department of Economics and Business EconomicsAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  5. 5.SOFI, Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  6. 6.Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination StudiesLinnaeus UniversityVäxjöSweden

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