Esposito, Michael H. (2018). Inequality in effect: Describing black-white heterogeneity in the health-protective effects of higher education. SocArXiv.
Extensive literature documents Black-White disparities in the association among education and health. As informative as this work has been, there is room for additional analysis on the matter. Prior research has often only compared subpopulations along unidimensional, central tendency measures. While characterizing groups with averages provides a general understanding of how race, education, and health intersect, only doing so obscures breadth that exist within racial-groups, as well as alternative dimensions of the education health-relationship along which racial groups might differ. To help develop foundations about the interaction among race, education, and health in the US, I compare Blacks and Whites in terms of the effect that attaining a college degree has on self-rated health. In addition to describing racial differences in average effects, I compare: (1) how variable the health-returns to a college degree are within both groups, and (2) which members of each group experience the greatest health-benefits from completing a college degree. I use feature rich data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and an adaptation of Bayesian Additive Regression Trees in this endeavor. Results show that between racial-group inequality in educational gradients is complex and exist along multiple dimensions.
population health education racial disparities causal analysis
Esposito, Michael H.
April 26, 2018