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The Role of Early-Life Conditions in the Cognitive Decline due to Adverse Events Later in Life

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Author Info

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    ()
    (University of Mannheim)

  • Deeg, Dorly J. H.

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Portrait, France

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

Cognitive functioning of elderly individuals may be affected by events such as the loss of a (grand)child or partner or the onset of a serious chronic condition, and by negative economic shocks such as job loss or the reduction of pension benefits. It is conceivable that the impact of such events is stronger if conditions early in life were adverse. In this paper we address this using a Dutch longitudinal database that follows elderly individuals for more than 15 years and contains information on demographics, socio-economic conditions, life events, health, and cognitive functioning. We exploit exogenous variation in early-life conditions as generated by the business cycle. We also examine to what extent the cumulative effect of consecutive shocks later in life exceeds the sum of the separate effects, and whether economic and health shocks later in life reinforce each other in their effect on cognitive functioning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4780.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4780

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Keywords: cognitive functioning; business cycle; bereavement; developmental origins; retirement; health; long-run effects; dementia;

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References

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  1. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2008. "Cognitive abilities and portfolio choice," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/35, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Doblhammer-Reiter, Gabriele & Christensen, Kaare, 2008. "Being born under adverse economic conditions leads to a higher cardiovascular mortality rate later in life – evidence based on individuals born at different stages of the business cycle," Working Paper Series 2008:16, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
  4. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1864, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. James Banks & Zoe Oldfield, 2007. "Understanding Pensions: Cognitive Function, Numerical Ability and Retirement Saving," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(2), pages 143-170, 06.
  6. Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2002. "An econometric analysis of the mental-health effects of major events in the life of older individuals," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 505-520.
  7. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2009. "Early Life Health and Cognitive Function in Old Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 104-09, May.
  8. James Banks & Cormac O'Dea & Zoë Oldfield, 2010. "Cognitive Function, Numeracy and Retirement Saving Trajectories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages F381-F410, November.
  9. Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2006. "Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 290-302, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Scholte, Robert & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten, 2012. "Long-Run Effects of Gestation During the Dutch Hunger Winter Famine on Labor Market and Hospitalization Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6307, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Guven, Cahit & Lee, Wang-Sheng, 2011. "Height and Cognitive Function among Older Europeans: Do People from "Tall" Countries Have Superior Cognitive Abilities?," IZA Discussion Papers 6210, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. James P. Smith & John J. McArdle & Robert Willis, 2010. "Financial Decision Making and Cognition in a Family Context," Working Papers 785, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  4. Scholte, Robert & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Deeg, Dorly J. H., 2014. "Does the Size of the Effect of Adverse Events at High Ages on Daily-Life Physical Functioning Depend on the Economic Conditions Around Birth?," IZA Discussion Papers 8075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. repec:dgr:uvatin:2012013 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Galama, T.; & Hullegie, P.; & Meijer, E.; & Outcault, S.;, 2012. "Empirical evidence for decreasing returns to scale in a health capital model," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/05, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Hullegie, P.G.J., 2012. "Essays on health and labor economics," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5637283, Tilburg University.
  8. Bruckner, Tim A. & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Smith, Kirk R. & Catalano, Ralph A., 2014. "Ambient Temperature During Gestation and Cold-Related Adult Mortality in a Swedish Cohort, 1915 to 2002," IZA Discussion Papers 7986, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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