Estimating the Effect of Education on Mortality in the Presence of Migration: Evidence from the Jim Crow South

Bhashkar Mazumder, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Seth Sanders, Duke University
Daniel Aaronson, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Evan Taylor, University of Michigan

Estimating the effects of education on the longevity of Blacks during the post Civil War period is complicated. While education raised earnings and plausibly health, education also induced migration which Black et. al (2012) show reduced longevity. We jointly estimate the effects of education and migration on longevity by using multiple instruments to establish their independent impacts. Aaronson and Mazumder (2011) show that the Rosenwald Rural School Initiative had very large effects on educational attainment and migration while Black et. al. (2012) show that proximity of birthplace to railroad lines significantly increased migration. While we find no effect of education on longevity in the reduced form, we show that this result is driven by education improving longevity but education also increasing migration which reduced longevity. That is we find that accounting for the effects of migration, education substantially improved longevity while migration itself reduced it.

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Presented in Session 106: Health, Migration, Race, and Education