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Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey

  • McArdle, John J.

    ()

    (University of Southern California)

  • Smith, James P.

    ()

    (RAND)

  • Willis, Robert

    ()

    (University of Michigan)

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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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4269.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4269.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4269
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  1. James P. Smith, 2004. "Inheritances and Bequests," Labor and Demography 0408012, EconWPA.
  2. 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.
  3. James P. Smith, 2004. "Racial and Ethnic Differences in Wealth in the Health and Retirement Study," Labor and Demography 0408011, EconWPA.
  4. 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.
  5. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith, 2004. "Improving the Quality of Economic Data: Lessons from the HRS and AHEAD," Labor and Demography 0402010, EconWPA.
  7. James Banks & Zoë Oldfield, 2006. "Understanding pensions: cognitive function, numerical ability and retirement saving," IFS Working Papers W06/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. 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.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521873161 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.
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