Background: There is an abundance of empirical evidence, mainly from the epidemiological and social science literature, on the relation between education and health. Until now a meta-analysis of the relation between education and health was not available. This article presents a meta-analysis of studies that use self- reported health as an outcome variable to quantify the effect of education on health.
Methods: Meta-analysis using a random and a fixed-effects model to quantify the marginal effect of education on self-reported health.
Results: The results of the meta-analysis show that the quality adjusted life years weight (QALYweight) of a year of education is approximately 0.036. Some tentative calculations suggest that the cost-benefit ratio of investments in education on health is highly positive.
Conclusion: For public policy this implies that a more integrated approach to education and health policies should be taken.