English title: The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education: What Does it Mean for Gender Differences in the Relationship between Education and Health

Author(s): Katrijn Delaruelle - Veerle Buffel - Piet Bracke -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2018


Recent studies have indicated that the relationship between education and health differs between men and women. In line with the resource substitution theory, these studies demonstrate that women receive greater health returns to an additional year of schooling than men do. In this article, we argue that this female advantage in the effect of education can change across different socio-historical contexts. In particular, we investigate the impact of the reversal of the gender gap in education on gender differences in the relationship between education and health. Using data from the European Social Survey (eight waves: 2002–2016) for individuals of age 25–75 years (N = 265,299) in 31 European countries, we find evidence for our central hypothesis: it appears that the female advantage in the effect of education on health decreases as the gender gap reverses. According to our results, however, this situation could be seen as a cost that does not outweigh the benefits provided by the unprecedented gains that female education has brought about in terms of population health.

Volume: 34

Issue: 6

From page no: 629

To page no: 644

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCY032

Journal: European Sociological Review

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