Does Education Lead to a Healthier Diet? Evidence From a Natural Experiment

Murat Anil Mercan


The literature suggests that food purchases are significantly affected by the purchaser’s level of education. However, endogeneity is an important factor to consider in estimating such effects. In this study, we investigated endogeneity effects on food purchases, using a 1997 change in the laws on compulsory schooling in Turkey to determine the relationship between human capital investment and health. Our data use the Turkish Statistical Institute’s (TUIK) Household Budget Survey (HBS) from 2016, a nationally representative dataset. Our results suggest that possession of a middle school diploma increases consumption of fruit, vegetables, and meat but not milk. We find that OLS results suffer from underestimation and that having a middle school education supports having a healthier diet.

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Research in World Economy
ISSN 1923-3981(Print)ISSN 1923-399X(Online)


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