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ERIC Number: ED501968
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Maternal Mortality Declines. NBER Working Paper No. 13947
Jayachandran, Seema; Lleras-Muney, Adriana
National Bureau of Economic Research
Longer life expectancy should encourage human capital accumulation, since a longer time horizon increases the value of investments that pay out over time. Previous work has been unable to determine the empirical importance of this life-expectancy effect due to the difficulty of isolating it from other effects of health on education. We examine a sudden drop in maternal mortality risk in Sri Lanka between 1946 and 1953, which creates a sharp increase in life expectancy for school-age girls without contemporaneous effects on health, and which also allows for the use of boys as a control group. Using additional geographic variation, we find that the 70% reduction in maternal mortality risk over the sample period increased female life expectancy at age 15 by 4.1%, female literacy by 2.5%, and female years of education by 4.0%.
National Bureau of Economic Research. 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-5398. Tel: 617-588-0343; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers - Location: Sri Lanka