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Death Stud. 2007 Aug;31(7):653-70.

Does education matter? Major League Baseball players and longevity.

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  • 1Department of Economics, Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257, USA.


The authors used duration analysis to examine the longevity of Major League Baseball players. Using data on players who were born between 1945 and 1964, the authors found that the hazard rate of death for players who only attended high school was almost 2.0 times higher than those players who attended a 4-year university, evidence that the educaton [sic]-health link applies to professional athletes. Another important determinant of longevity was race. In addition, a player's body mass index was positively associated with a higher hazard of death. Compared with the general population, the death rate of baseball players was lower--the observed number of deaths in the dataset was only 31% of the expected number. Findings in this article are likely attributable to education being correlated with other variables that affect longevity, most likely intelligence and time preference.

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