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The Impact of Social Activities on Cognitive Ageing: Evidence from Eleven European Countries

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Abstract

Using micro data from eleven European countries, we investigate the impact of being socially active on cognition in older age. Cognitive abilities are measured through scores on numeracy, fluency and recall tests. We address the endogeneity of social activities through panel data and instrumental variable methods. We find that social activities have an important positive effect on cognition, with the results varying by gender. Fluency is positively affected only in females, while numeracy only in males. Finally, recall is affected in both sexes. We also show that social activities, through their effect on cognition, influence positively households’ economic welfare.

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  • Dimitrios Christelis & Loreti I. Dobrescu, 2012. "The Impact of Social Activities on Cognitive Ageing: Evidence from Eleven European Countries," CSEF Working Papers 320, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:320
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, April.
    2. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    3. 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.
    4. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2007.113654_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. James Banks & Cormac O'Dea & Zoë Oldfield, 2010. "Cognitive Function, Numeracy and Retirement Saving Trajectories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages 381-410, November.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2007.115923_7 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Keywords

    Social Activities; Ageing; SHARE; Panel Data;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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