Rethinking Mass Education and Population Health: Vertical, Horizontal, and Integrative Educational Expansion and Child Mortality in a Cross-National Panel

Ross Macmillan , Universita Bocconi
Jessica Gagete Miranda

In this paper, we suggest that there are three types of mass education with variable implications for population health. The "vertical" dimension involves the extent of average educational attainment in a population and has been the most common object of study. But this exists along side a "horizontal" dimension involving participation and an "integrative" dimension involving variation in educational disparities. We investigate the effects of different types of mass education with a cross-national panel of 145 countries spanning 1990 to 2015 and fixed effects longitudinal regression. Results are three-fold. First, the various dimensions are empirically distinct with small associations between them. Second, strongest and most robust effects are seen for gender parity in enrolment. Finally, the most substantial mortality gains are seen for the expansion of mass education at the primary level with smaller and uneven gains with expansion at higher levels. Implications for theory, research, and policy are discussed.

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 Presented in Session 89. Socioeconomic Status and Health