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The Effects of the Financial Crisis on the Well-Being of Older Americans: Evidence from the Cognitive Economics Study

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  • Matthew D. Shapiro

    (University of Michigan and NBER)

Abstract

This paper uses the Cognitive Economics Study (CogEcon) to assess the effect of the financial crisis on the well-being of older Americans. Financial wealth fell by about 15 percent for the median household. These financial losses were concentrated among households with high levels of wealth and high cognitive capacities, who tend to have higher exposure to the stock market. Nonetheless, households with little financial wealth suffered declines in well-being-measured by declines in consumption-as large on average as households with substantial exposure to the stock market. Tight credit market conditions and adverse labor market outcomes account for much of the effect of the financial crisis on the consumption of these low-wealth households.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew D. Shapiro, 2010. "The Effects of the Financial Crisis on the Well-Being of Older Americans: Evidence from the Cognitive Economics Study," Working Papers wp228, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp228
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp228.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gopi Shah Goda & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2012. "Does Stock Market Performance Influence Retirement Intentions?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 1055-1081.
    2. Purvi Sevak, 2002. "Wealth Shocks and Retirement Timing: Evidence from the Nineties," Working Papers wp027, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. Palumbo, Michael & Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2006. "On the Relationships Between Real Consumption, Income, and Wealth," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 1-11, January.
    4. Kimball, Miles S & Sahm, Claudia R & Shapiro, Matthew D, 2008. "Imputing Risk Tolerance From Survey Responses," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(483), pages 1028-1038.
    5. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Montagnoli & Mirko Moro, 2014. "Everybody Hurts: Banking Crises and Individual Wellbeing," Working Papers 2014010, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    2. Christelis, Dimitris & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio, 2015. "Wealth shocks, unemployment shocks and consumption in the wake of the Great Recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 21-41.
    3. Thomas Hyclak & Chad Meyerhoefer & Larry Taylor, 2015. "Older Americans’ health and the Great Recession," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 413-436, June.
    4. Tonzer, Lena, 2017. "Uncertainty, financial crises, and subjective well-being," IWH Discussion Papers 2/2017, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Eric French & Taylor Kelley & An Qi, 2013. "Expected income growth and the Great Recession," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 14-29.
    6. Schneider, William & Waldfogel, Jane & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, 2017. "The Great Recession and risk for child abuse and neglect," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 71-81.
    7. repec:fip:fedhep:y:2013:i:qi:p:14-29:n:vol.37no.1 is not listed on IDEAS

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