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Education, Health, and Earnings – Type 1 Diabetes in Children and Young Adults


  • Ida Lovén

Summary, in English

This thesis consists of four independent exploratory research papers contributing to the economic literature on child and adolescent health, and adult educational and labor market outcomes. Each paper considers type 1 diabetes and focuses on onset over a specific age span. An overall conclusion of this thesis is that individuals with type 1 diabetes deviate from peers without diabetes, irrespective of which outcome or the timing of onset studied. Type 1 diabetes has statistically and quantitatively significant consequences for both education and labor market outcomes, though the magnitude of the impact depends on timing of onset and individual characteristics.

The first paper, "Onset of type 1 diabetes in young adults and long-term consequences for annual earnings", investigates how onset of type 1 diabetes in the age group 28 to 34 relates to adult annual labor earnings over 22 years. First, by focusing on health in young adults (who are generally in the early stages of their careers, but have already made educational choices), I minimize any influence on earnings that otherwise may come from health interacting with education and skill formation during upbringing. Second, by controlling for individual fixed effects, I minimize any influence from time-invariant unobservable factors, such as cognitive and non-cognitive abilities, which have been found to be rather constant throughout adulthood.

The second paper, "Onset of type 1 diabetes in young adults and university education", assesses how onset of type 1 diabetes at age 17 to 20 relates to subsequent university education and family formation. Unlike children, young adults are themselves responsible for their health behavior and their academic aspirations, while parents' roles are more advisory. Accordingly, the link reflects how type 1 diabetes influences university education when ruling out the influence of earlier academic achievements and minimizing parental involvement.

The third paper, "Labor market consequences of growing up with type 1 diabetes", explores the long-term labor market consequences of growing up with type 1 diabetes, both for children (6 to 15 years old) developing the disease and their siblings. For siblings of individuals with type 1 diabetes, sisters' outcomes appear unaffected, while brothers' outcomes show, on the one hand, a higher likelihood of being employed, but, on the other hand, lower earnings reminiscent of the earnings decrease for individuals with type 1 diabetes themselves.

The fourth paper, "Early onset of type 1 diabetes and educational field at upper secondary and university level: is own experience an asset for a health care career?", analyzes the relationship between onset of type 1 diabetes (up to age 15) and the probability of choosing a health-oriented path at upper secondary and university level. By modeling the educational decisions as an unsorted series of binary choices, we shed light on the more qualitative aspects of schooling and assess a potential mechanism linking early life health to adult outcomes.

Publishing year





Lund Economic Studies



Document type



  • Economics


  • Siblings
  • Family formation
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Education
  • Earnings
  • Health





  • ISSN: 0460-0029
  • ISBN: 978-91-7623-477-8
  • ISBN: 978-91-7623-476-1

Defence date

9 October 2015

Defence time


Defence place

Holger Crafoord EC3:211


  • Unto Häkkinen (Professor)