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