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Aging, cognitive abilities and retirement

We investigate the relationship between ageing, cognitive abilities and retirement using the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), a household panel that offers the possibility of comparing several European countries using nationally representative samples of the population aged 50+. The human capital framework suggests that retirement may cause an increase in cognitive decline, since after retirement individuals lose the market incentive to invest in cognitive repair activities. Our empirical results, based on an instrumental variable strategy to deal with the potential endogeneity of retirement, confirm this key prediction. They also indicate that education plays a fundamental role in explaining heterogeneity in the level of cognitive abilities.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 152.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 04 Dec 2009
Date of revision: 05 Dec 2012
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:152
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  1. Galama, Titus & Kapteyn, Arie, 2011. "Grossman’s missing health threshold," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1044-1056.
  2. Bonsang Eric & Adam Stéphane & Perelman Sergio, 2010. "Does Retirement Affect Cognitive Functioning?," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
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  14. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "Changes in Compulsory Schooling, Education and the Distribution of Wages in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 516-539, 03.
  15. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France, 2007. "Long-Run Longevity Effects of a Nutritional Shock Early in Life: The Dutch Potato Famine of 1846–1847," IZA Discussion Papers 3123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
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  19. Rachel S. Newson & Eva B. Kemps, 2005. "General Lifestyle Activities as a Predictor of Current Cognition and Cognitive Change in Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Examination," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 60(3), pages P113-P120.
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