Examining the association between educational attainment and life expectancy in MENA region: A panel data analysis

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Abstract

Background:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between educational attainment and life expectancy in 18 countries in MENA region.

Methods:

We used World Bank database for a panel of 18 MENA countries during the years 1995 to 2009. We used Life Expectancy at Birth, as the key health care output measure. Additionally, we used six health care input independent variables. All variables were transformed into natural logarithms. We estimated the production function using Cobb-Douglas function.

Results:

Results indicate that 1% increase in educational attainment of males 25 to 34 years old, males 25 years and older, females 25 to 34 years old, females 25 years and older, and females aged 15 to 44 years old will increase life expectancy by 0.14%, 0.07%, 0.04%, 0.03%, and 0.04%, respectively, while everything else remains constant.

Conclusion:

Our results suggest that for MENA region countries investing in education to broaden access would improve health outcomes and life expectancy. Boosting educational attainment for both male and female population may close the life expectancy gaps between the MENA region and other developed countries, and males and females within the same country. Education attainment has the potential to be a social remedy for better health outcomes in MENA countries.

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