CitationFletcher, Jason & M (2008). Using "genetic lotteries" within families to examine the causal impact of poor health on academic acheivement. 2008 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.
AbstractOne of the most robust relationships in the social sciences is the large positive correlation between health and education, but establishing a causal link remains a substantial challenge. This paper uses a combined instrumental variables/fixed effects approach that exploits differences in genetic inheritance among children within the same family to estimate the impact of several poor health conditions (including depression, ADHD, and obesity) on academic outcomes. To use this approach, we use the genetic marker information contained in the Add Health dataset combined with the rich longitudinal data. We present evidence of large impacts of poor mental health on academic achievement. Our estimates suggest that accounting for family fixed effects is important but these strategies cannot fully account for the endogeneity of poor health. Finally, our results demonstrate that the presence of comorbid conditions presents immense challenges for empirical studies that aim to estimate the impact of specific health conditions.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book Title2008 Add Health Users Conference