Essays on the education gradient of health in Turkey

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015


Supervisor: AYSIT TANSEL


This thesis investigates the association between health and education for Turkey by using Turkish Health Survey (THS) data set. In the analysis, we focus on the individuals who are 25 years old or older. In the thesis, first, we examine the factors that possibly have impact on the individual’s health such as education, gender, age, region, marital status, labor market indicators and household income. Second, we examine the effect of education on individual’s Self-Assessed Health Status (SAH) empirically by considering first education is exogenous to the individual’s health by implementing ordered probability analyses (both ordered probit and ordered logit). Afterwards, we consider the possible endogeneity problem between health and education. In order to overcome the endogeneity problem between health and education, we implement Instrumental Variable (IV) methodology. We introduce a new instrument for education to the literature: The education reforms that took place in the early 1960s, after the 1960 constitution had been implemented. Third, we test the effect of education on different health behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, fruits and vegetable consumption, exercising and BMI. Last, we specifically focus on the rising health problem both in the World and in Turkey: Obesity, and we examine how the health behavior determining factors vary across different quantile distribution of the individual’s BMI level. Our results suggest that the individual’s education level is positively correlated with his/her SAH. In general, our results also indicate that education an important factor that could reduce the probability of risky health behaviors in Turkey.