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Retirement and cognitive decline. A longitudinal analysis using SHARE data


  • Celidoni, Martina
  • Dal Bianco, Chiara
  • Weber, Guglielmo


We show that a new measure of cognitive decline, that can be computed in longitudinal surveys where respondents perform the same recall memory tests over the years, is highly predictive of the onset of dementia. Using SHARE data, we investigate the way retirement affects cognitive decline over time controlling for age, education and other confounding factors. We find that retirement has a long-term detrimental effect on cognition for individuals who retire at the statutory eligibility age. It plays instead a protective role for those who retire on an early retirement scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Celidoni, Martina & Dal Bianco, Chiara & Weber, Guglielmo, 2017. "Retirement and cognitive decline. A longitudinal analysis using SHARE data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 113-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:56:y:2017:i:c:p:113-125
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.09.003

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    Cited by:

    1. Kolodziej, Ingo W.K. & García-Gómez, Pilar, 2019. "Saved by retirement: Beyond the mean effect on mental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 225(C), pages 85-97.
    2. Matteo Picchio & Jan C. van Ours, 2020. "Mental Health Effects of Retirement," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 419-452, September.
    3. Thomas Barnay & Éric Defebvre, 2018. "Retired, at last ? The short-term impact of retirement on health status in France," Working Papers halshs-01878922, HAL.
    4. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio & Mazzarella, Gianluca, 2018. "Does postponing minimum retirement age improve healthy behaviors before retirement? Evidence from middle-aged Italian workers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 215-227.
    5. Isabelle CHORT & Bénédicte APOUEY, 2018. "Are rising house prices really good for your brain? House value and cognitive functioning among older Europeans," Working Papers 2017-2018_7, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Oct 2018.
    6. Hyejin Kim, 2019. "Retirement and Cognitive Ability in Korea," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 35, pages 393-415.
    7. Martina Celidoni & Chiara Dal Bianco & Vincenzo Rebba & Guglielmo Weber, 2020. "Retirement and Healthy Eating," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(1), pages 199-219, March.
    8. Atalay, Kadir & Barrett, Garry F. & Staneva, Anita, 2019. "The effect of retirement on elderly cognitive functioning," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 37-53.
    9. Steve Briand, 2020. "Beyond the direct impact of retirement: coordination by couples in preventive and risky behaviors," Working Papers hal-02467440, HAL.
    10. Danilo Cavapozzi & Chiara Dal Bianco, 2020. "Does retirement decrease the familiarity with ICT of older individuals?," Working Papers 2020:01, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    11. Giesecke, Matthias, 2019. "The retirement mortality puzzle: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design," Ruhr Economic Papers 800, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Pedron, Sara & Maier, Werner & Peters, Annette & Linkohr, Birgit & Meisinger, Christine & Rathmann, Wolfgang & Eibich, Peter & Schwettmann, Lars, 2020. "The effect of retirement on biomedical and behavioral risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic disease," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C).
    13. Ann Barbara Bauer & Reiner Eichenberger, 2018. "Worsening Workers' Health by Lowering Retirement Age: The Malign Consequences of a Benign Reform," CREMA Working Paper Series 2018-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    14. Colin Green & Likun Mao & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2019. "Internet Usage and the Cognitive Function of Retirees," Working Papers 280067410, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

    More about this item


    Ageing; Cognition; Retirement; Instrumental variable estimation; SHARE;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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