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Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey

Author

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  • McArdle, John J.

    () (University of Southern California)

  • Smith, James P.

    () (RAND)

  • Willis, Robert

    () (University of Michigan)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • McArdle, John J. & Smith, James P. & Willis, Robert, 2009. "Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 4269, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4269
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    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. James Banks & Zoe Oldfield, 2007. "Understanding Pensions: Cognitive Function, Numerical Ability and Retirement Saving," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, pages 143-170.
    4. Smith, J-P, 1997. "Inheritances and Bequests," Papers 97-04, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    5. 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.
    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. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2013. "Who Is ‘Behavioral’? Cognitive Ability And Anomalous Preferences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1231-1255, December.
    8. 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 352-352.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Behaghel & David M. Blau, 2012. "Framing Social Security Reform: Behavioral Responses to Changes in the Full Retirement Age," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 41-67, November.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Jinan Zeidan, 2014. "Stature, Skills and Adult Life Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia," AMSE Working Papers 1429, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 07 Jul 2014.
    3. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Nahid Tabatabai, 2012. "Financial Knowledge and Financial Literacy at the Household Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 309-313, May.
    4. Binswanger, Johannes & Salm, Martin, 2013. "Does Everyone Use Probabilities? Intuitive and Rational Decisions about Stockholding," IZA Discussion Papers 7265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Tullio Jappelli, 2010. "Economic Literacy: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages 429-451, November.
    6. Giofré, Maela, 2017. "Financial education, investor protection and international portfolio diversification," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 111-139.
    7. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2779-2792.
    8. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2014. "The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 5-44, March.
    9. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Stephan Meier, 2010. "Financial literacy and subprime mortgage delinquency: evidence from a survey matched to administrative data," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2010-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    10. James Poterba & Steven Venti & David A. Wise, 2013. "Health, Education, and the Postretirement Evolution of Household Assets," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 297-339.
    11. Daniel LaFave & Duncan Thomas, 2016. "Height and Cognition at Work: Labor Market Productivity in a Low Income Setting," NBER Working Papers 22290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Joanne W. Hsu, 2011. "Aging and Strategic Learning: The Impact of Spousal Incentives on Financial Literacy," NFI Working Papers 2011-WP-06, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
    13. James P. Smith & John J. McArdle & Robert Willis, 2010. "Financial Decision Making and Cognition in a Family Context," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages 363-380, November.
    14. Strauss, John & Lei, Xiaoyan & Park, Albert & Shen, Yan & Smith, James P. & Yang, Zhe & Zhao, Yaohui, 2010. "Health Outcomes and Socio-Economic Status among the Elderly in China: Evidence from the CHARLS Pilot," IZA Discussion Papers 5152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Nicholas W. Papageorge & Kevin Thom, 2017. "Genes, Education, and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 17-273, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    16. Osea Giuntella & Wei Han & Fabrizio Mazzonna, 2017. "Circadian Rhythms, Sleep, and Cognitive Skills: Evidence From an Unsleeping Giant," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(5), pages 1715-1742, October.
    17. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Ziegelmeyer, Michael, 2011. "Who lost the most? Financial Literacy, Cognitive Abilities, and the Financial Crisis," MEA discussion paper series 11234, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    18. Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna, 2015. "Gender, stock market participation and financial literacy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 140-142.
    19. Agarwal, Sumit & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Zhang, Yunqi, 2017. "How does working in a finance profession affect mortgage delinquency?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-13.
    20. repec:ran:wpaper:774 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. repec:eee:econom:v:200:y:2017:i:2:p:378-389 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Sonia Di Giannatale & Alexander Elbittar & María José Roa, 2015. "Características de personalidad y cognitivas: Efectos sobre el comportamiento de repago," Documentos de Investigación - Research Papers 20, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
    23. González-Díaz, Julio & Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2016. "Cognitive performance in competitive environments: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 40-52.
    24. Almenberg, Johan & Gerdes, Christer, 2011. "Exponential Growth Bias and Financial Literacy," IZA Discussion Papers 5814, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial outcomes; cognition;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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