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Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey

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  • John J. McArdle
  • James P. Smith
  • Robert Willis

Abstract

Dimensions of cognitive skills are potentially important but often neglected determinants of the central economic outcomes that shape overall well-being over the life course. There exists enormous variation among households in their rates of wealth accumulation, their holdings of financial assets, and the relative risk in their chosen asset portfolios that have proven difficult to explain by conventional demographic factors, the amount of bequests they receive or anticipating giving, and the level of economic resources of the household. These may be cognitively demanding decisions at any age but especially so at older ages. This research examines the association of cognitive skills with wealth, wealth growth, and wealth composition for people in their pre and post-retirement years.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15266.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Publication status: published as Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey , John J. McArdle, James P. Smith, Robert Willis. in Explorations in the Economics of Aging , Wise. 2011
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15266

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  1. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith, 2004. "Improving the Quality of Economic Data: Lessons from the HRS and AHEAD," Labor and Demography 0402010, EconWPA.
  3. Smith, J.P., 1996. "Racial and Ethnic Differences in Wealth in the Health and Retirement Study," Papers 96-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
  4. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  5. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  6. Juster, F. Thomas & Smith, James P. & Stafford, Frank, 1999. "The measurement and structure of household wealth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 253-275, June.
  7. James P. Smith, 2004. "Inheritances and Bequests," Labor and Demography 0408012, EconWPA.
  8. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder & Robert Willis, 2008. "Preparation for Retirement, Financial Literacy and Cognitive Resources," Working Papers wp190, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  9. Hartog,Joop & Maassen van den Brink,Henriëtte (ed.), 2007. "Human Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521873161, April.
  10. 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.
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