AbstractSome studies suggest that people can maintain their cognitive abilities through "mental exercise." This has not been unequivocally proven. Retirement is associated with a large change in a person's daily routine and environment. In this paper, the authors propose two mechanisms how retirement may lead to cognitive decline. For many people retirement leads to a less stimulating daily environment. In addition, the prospect of retirement reduces the incentive to engage in mentally stimulating activities on the job. They investigate the effect of retirement on cognition empirically using cross-nationally comparable surveys of older persons in the United States, England, and 11 European countries in 2004. They find that early retirement has a significant negative impact on the cognitive ability of people in their early 60s that is both quantitatively important and causal. Identification is achieved using national pension policies as instruments for endogenous retirement.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 711.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, California 90407-2138
Web page: http://www.rand.org/pubs/
More information through EDIRC
cognition; retirement; human capital; international comparison; HRS; SHARE; ELSA;
Other versions of this item:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2009-11-14 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2009-11-14 (European Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2009-11-14 (Neuroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1.
- Norma B. Coe & Gema Zamarro, 2008.
"Retirement Effects on Health in Europe,"
588, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
- 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.
- Heckman, James J, 1995. "Lessons from the Bell Curve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1091-1120, October.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benson Wong).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.