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This paper investigates the non-pecuniary benets of education using several individuals' health outcomes, health-damaging and health-improving behaviors, and preventive care. We exploit a reform which raised compulsory schooling by three years in Italy to identify the causal effect of lower secondary education and, unlike most previous papers in the literature, we analyze a wide range of health indicators. Our analysis shows that the rise in schooling induced by the reform reduced BMI and the incidence of obesity across Italian women, and raised men's likelihood of
doing regular physical activity and cholesterol and glycemia checks. No effect is found instead on preventive care and health-improving behavior for women, and on smoking prevalence and intensity for both genders. Some potential reasons for the gender differences in the results are discussed.
This draft: December 16, 2016
Preliminary and Incomplete. Please do not cite.