Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  156 / 126 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 156 / 126 Next Page
Page Background

Advanced Education and Mortality Compression in the United States 157

potential cohort influences on educational differences on mortality,

such as mortality compression, given that American society has

experienced substantial increases in educational attainment over the

study period (Masters et al., 2012; Rogers, Everett, Zajacova, &

Hummer, 2010; Yang, 2008). Overall, younger population cohorts

receive more education than older population cohorts, and the

elderly with the least education could be increasingly negatively

selected for mortality (Martin, Schoeni, Freedman, & Andreski,

2007). Also, it would be very interesting to investigate if the

association between mortality compression and advanced education

extends beyond bachelor’s degree, such as master’s or doctoral

degrees. However, since cohort effects are very likely to play a key

role in the highly advanced education, it will be necessary to take

cohort into account. Finally, the possibility that the “shifting

mortality” hypothesis might have been involved is discussed. The

modal age at death increases with educational level. However, after

a high school degree, the shrinkage in the dispersion of age at time

of death after the mode becomes much less acute than that observed

in those who did not obtain a high school degree. This phenomenon

maybe the “shifting mortality” scenario seen in low-income

countries after 1950 (Bongaarts, 2005; Cheung & Robine, 2007).

However, the study cannot confirm this scenario, nor can it rule out

the possibility. More refined education groups beyond bachelor’s

degree and larger sample sizes are necessary to investigate this

phenomenon. The major strengths of this study are that it is the first

to investigate the association between advanced education

(bachelor’s degree or higher) and mortality compression; given that

this is a growing phenomenon

there are more and more older

American people who have bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, or

professional degrees

and any educational experience can be

beneficial to longevity (Lawrence et al., 2016). Since the prevalence

of advanced education is increasing with its growing influence over

time, more research needs to be done in order to better understand

the impact of this trend and provide more up-to-date evidence to

public health policy makers.