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English title Do comprehensive school reforms impact the health of early school leavers? Results of a comparative difference-in-difference design
Language English
Type Journal article
Year 2019


In the current article, we examine whether and how reforms in tracking age affect educational inequalities in health among people between the ages of 25–75 years. Particular attention is paid to the health consequences for early school leavers. The study combines data from the European Social Survey (2002–2016) on 21 countries with country-cohort information on education policies. Moreover, a difference-in-difference design is used, which takes advantage of both the cross-national and cross-temporal variability in the implementation of comprehensive schooling reforms. The results reveal statistically significant, but very small effects of de-tracking policies on people's health. That is, comprehensive education leads to slight improvements in health among people who have attained upper secondary or tertiary education, but these improvements are achieved at the expense of the health of those with the lowest levels of education. Our study should encourage future research to further explore the institutional impact of educational systems on the health of individuals.

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Journal:Social Science and Medicine
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