Professor in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs of the University of Illinois and a Professor in the Department of Economics of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Kaestner is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Senior Fellow of the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at University of Southern California, an Affiliated Scholar of the Urban Institute and a consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Dr. Kaestner received his Ph.D. in Economics from the City University of New York. He received his BA and MA from Binghamton University (SUNY).
Dr. Kaestner’s areas of research interest are the economic and social determinants of health, health demography, and health, labor and social policy evaluation. He has published over 125 articles in academic journals. Recent studies have been awarded Article of the Year by AcademyHealth in 2011 and the 2012 Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize for the best publication in Social Services Review.
Dr. Kaestner is Associate Editor of Journal of Health Economics, Associate Editor of American Journal of Health Economics, Associate Editor of the Review of Economics of the Household, and on the Editorial Board of Demography an of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
In this paper, we develop an approach to measuring the effect of education on health that, to our knowledge, has not been previously used despite it being a relatively simple derivation obtained from the health production function of the human capital model of the demand for health. Specifically, we estimate the effect of education at various ages over the life cycle of several birth cohorts. Results of the study indicate that education does have a positive effect on health and mortality, but that this effect manifests in middle age, for example around age 55. Prior to this age, education seems to have little effect on health and mortality. The second finding of our study is that most of the effect of education on health and mortality stems from the worse health and higher mortality of those with less than a high school degree. Third, there does not seem to be significant differences in the effects of education on health and mortality across birth cohorts. Fourth, we find different patterns of the effect of education on physical and mental health.