Educational Differences in All-Cause and Cause-Specific Adult Mortality--Evidence from Bulgaria, Finland and the United States

Iliana V. Kohler, University of Pennsylvania
Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania
Pekka Martikainen, University of Helsinki
Kirsten Smith, University of Pennsylvania

We analyze educational differentials in all-cause and cause-specific mortality at working ages in Bulgaria, Finland, and the United States during the 1990s. The three countries are characterized by large differences in social and economic structure and historical development as well as differences in health behaviors and access to preventive and curative health care. In particular, we analyze whether cross-country mortality differentials are uniform across the education gradient or whether they are primarily concentrated among individuals with low levels of schooling. We also investigate whether educational differentials in mortality vary by gender or marital status. Finally, we examine whether educational disparities in cause-specific mortality differ among the three countries. International comparisons of educational differences in all-cause and cause-specific mortality shed light on the possible role of health policy and social and economic context on SES inequalities in mortality and the extent to which such inequalities vary by context.

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Presented in Session 86: Social Inequality and Health