The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between education and health amongst Australian women.
This study uses the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia data set. Spouse’s education is employed as an instrument to solve the potential endogeneity of educational attainment.
The results indicate that an additional year of schooling can lead to an increase in self-reported health, physical health, mental health and a reduced likelihood of having long-term health conditions. Women who are not in the labour force are likely to enjoy higher benefits of education compared to their employed counterparts. The findings also suggest that the relationship between education and health can be explained by the extent of positive health behaviours and social capital as mediators.
The conclusion from the results might be different in the case of men, reducing the generalisability of the results. Several objective health variables should be used to provide further aspects of health on which education has an impact.
As the positive effect of education on women’s health is empirically found, investment in women’s education should be seriously considered and reevaluated.
This paper focuses on Australian women which not only reduces the heterogeneity between genders but also adds to the rare number of studies on this topic in Australia. This paper also employs a formal mediation analysis to examine what are the mechanisms explaining the relationship between education and health.
This paper uses unit record data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and was funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (Melbourne Institute). The findings and views reported in this paper; however, are those of the authors and should not be attributed to either FaHCSIA or the Melbourne Institute.
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