Occupational Activities and Cognitive Reserve: a Frontier Approach Applied to the Survey on Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe
The aim of this paper was to use a parametric stochastic frontier approach (coming from the economic literature) to explore the impact of the concept of activity (taken in a broad sense: i.e., including both professional and non-professional activities) on the constitution and the care of cognitive reserve among the European population aged 50 and up. For this purpose, we use individual data collected during the first wave of SHARE (Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) performed in 2004. The advantages of this survey were (1) it included a large population (n = 18,623) geographically distributed throughout Europe; and (2) it simultaneously analyzed several dimensions (physical and mental health, mobility, occupational activities, socioeconomic status, etc.). Our results confirm the positive impact of occupational activities on the cognitive functioning of elderly people. These results are discussed in terms of the prevention of cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease, and more particularly of retirement policy issues.
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