Does Children's Education Improve Parental Longevity? Evidence From Two Educational Reforms in England

FBK-IRVAPP is pleased to invite you to the following seminar: Does Children’s Education Improve Parental Longevity? Evidence From Two Educational Reforms in England.

With the participation of Joan Madia

Language: the seminar is held in English.

Abstract Parents of better-educated children are healthier and live longer, as a growing number of associational studies from a variety of societies demonstrates. Is this a non-monetary return to education which crosses generational boundaries, or is this the consequence of unobserved factors (e.g. shared genes) driving both children’s education and parental health? Using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) and two educational reforms that raised the mandatory school-leaving age from age 14 to 15 years in 1947 and from age 15 to 16 years in 1972, we investigate the causal effect of children’s education on parental longevity. Results show that both the 1947 and the 1972 reforms improved parental longevity, both for fathers and mothers. The effects are particularly strong for parents whose children were `compliers,’ i.e., children who stayed in school due to the reforms and would have dropped out of school otherwise. Our sex-stratified models reveal that parents benefited more from having better-educated daughters in the 1947 reform than from having better-educated sons, however this pattern reversed for the 1972 reform. Finally, the occupational class-stratified models suggest that both reforms had salubrious effects on working class-parents, these might have been just as large for parents from the salariat class. We discuss our findings against the backdrop of universal and free health care provision in England and theories of gendered caregiving.

The seminar will be held on the web conference platform Google meet.


  • Joan Madia - Speaker
    Nuffield College, Oxford
    Joan Madia is PhD student in Sociology at the Nuffield College, research officer at the Excluded Lives Project at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, and non-stipendiary affiliate researcher at FBK-IRVAPP. His research focus on social inequality and public policy evaluation using counterfactual and microsimulation approaches.


Registration to this event is mandatory.

Registration closed on 09/06/2021.

The registration is free of charge. You will receive an invitation through google calendar the day before the seminar to facilitate the access to the virtual room.

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