Mass Vaccination and Educational Attainment: Evidence from the 1967 Measles Eradication Campaign in the United States


We show that the first nationwide mass vaccination campaign against measles increased educational attainment in the United States. Our empirical strategy exploits variation in exposure to the childhood disease across states right before the Measles Eradication Campaign of 1967–68, which reduced reported measles incidence by 90 percent within two years. Our results suggest that mass vaccination against measles increased the years of education on average by about 0.1 years in the affected cohorts. We also find tentative evidence that the college graduation rate of men increased.

Journal of Health Economics, In Press