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According to a study by Nattavudh Powdthavee, from the British University Of York, made for the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, the biomarker, positive, effect of compulsory schooling is real. According to the data set used, those of the Health Survey for England (HSE), “using the changes in the minimum school-leaving age law in the United Kingdom from age 14 to 15 in 1947, and from age 15 to 16 in 1973, as sources of exogenous variation in schooling, the regression discontinuity and IV-probit estimates imply that completing an extra year of schooling reduces the probability of developing

subsequent hypertension by approximately 7-12% points; the result which holds only for men and not for women. The correct IV-probit estimates of the LATE for schooling indicate the presence of a large and negative bias in the probit estimates of schooling-hypertension relationship for the male subsample”:

the RD and IV-probit estimates imply that completing an additional year of schooling helps reduce the probability of men developing subsequent hypertension by approximately 7%-12% points.” (p. 14).

A further study such as by Goldman and Smith (2002) finds that more educated HIV/AIDS patients are more likely to adhere to therapy than their less educated counterpart. In other words, there is “some evidence of the beneficial effects of schooling on health behaviors.”


  • See Goldman, Dana, and Smith, James P. 2002. Can patient self-management help explain the SES health gradient? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, 99, 10929-10934.
  • The original paper by Nattavudh Powdthavee is fully available here (in Pdf format): http://u.nu/3t3ze.

In Italiano:
A quanto pare, la permanenza degli studenti maschi a scuola per un anno in più aiuta a ridurre i rischi di patologie di ipertensione nell’ordine del 7-12%.
E’ quanto afferma uno studio di Nattavudh Powdthavee (Università di York) in inglese (consultabile liberamente qui, http://u.nu/3t3ze, in formato Pdf) che raccoglie e analizza vari dati del servizio sanitario inglese, Health Survey for England (HSE), in due periodi storici precisi, 1947 e 1973. Il risultato è quello evidenziato: stare a scuola un anno in più contribuisce a evitare i rischi di ipertensione. Non male, specie quando si vuole a tutti i costi ridurre i tempi scolastici da parte del MIUR e dell’OCSE.