The effects of medical school on health outcomes: Evidence from admission lotteries

Published in: Journal of Health Economics 32 (2013). 698-707. (with Hessel Oosterbeek and Inge de Wolf)

This paper estimates the effects of attending medical school on health outcomes by exploiting that admission to medical school in the Netherlands is determined by a lottery. Among the applicants for medical school, people who attended medical school have on average 1.5 more years of completed education than people who did not. They are also more likely to have been exposed to a health-related education curriculum. The results show only modest impacts on health outcomes. Attending medical school reduces alcohol consumption and being underweight somewhat. It has, however, no significant impact on self-reported health status, smoking, physical exercise and being overweight or obese. Attending medical school does have a large positive impact on the probability of being registered for donations of organs.

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