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Title: Essays on the economics of education and health
Author: James, Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 4095
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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Chapter 1 examines peer effects in the take up of welfare within a school setting- free school meals. Data from the Pupil Level Annual School Census, which collects information on every child attending a school in the UK, is used, defining the peer group using the child's ethnicity and language. Hypotheses about the nature of the peer effect are tested. I exploit the introduction of cashless catering systems which removes stigma. Secondly, by comparing the peer effect for those who have claimed in previous years with those who have not, information is tested. Finally, I test a role model hypothesis. All three have an impact and information is most important for the most deprived. Chapter 2 examines the casual effect of education on teen births and child health. The increase in school leaving age to 15 and 16 increased the years of completed schooling; however, there was no effect of the introduction of new examinations. The compulsory schooling law change to 16 did increase the probability of holding a qualification and reduced the probability of a teen birth. Furthermore, the impact of the increase to 16 also - lead to improvements in birth outcomes, this was primarily driven by the mother having a more educated partner and a reduction in poverty. Other measures of child health are mixed and mostly did not improve. Chapter 3 (with Michele Belot, published in Journal of Health Economics (2011)) pro- vides field evidence on the effect of diet on educational outcomes, exploiting a campaign lead by celebrity chef J amie Oliver in 2004, which introduced drastic changes in the meals offered in the schools of one Borough - Greenwich - shifting from low-budget processed meals towards healthier options. We evaluate the effect of the campaign on educational outcomes using a difference in differences approach; using the neighbouring Local Edu- cation Authorities as a control group. We find evidence that educational outcomes did improve and that authorised absences - which are most likely linked to illness and health - fell by 14%.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available