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Height and cognition at older age: Irish evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Irene Mosca

    (TILDA, Trinity College Dublin)

  • Robert E Wright

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

Abstract

Previous research suggests that taller individuals have greater cognitive ability. The aim of this paper is to empirically investigate whether the relationship between height and cognition holds in later-life using data from the first wave of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Seven novel measures of cognition are used. These measures capture important aspects of cognition which are more likely to decline in old age, such as cognitive flexibility, processing speed, concentration and attention. It is found that height is positively and significantly associated with cognition in later-life also when education and early-life indicators are controlled for. The finding that adult height is a marker for nutrition and health environment experienced in early-life is widely accepted in the literature. The findings of this paper suggest that height might have a greater value added, as it appears to be a useful measure of unobserved childhood experiences.

Suggested Citation

  • Irene Mosca & Robert E Wright, 2016. "Height and cognition at older age: Irish evidence," Working Papers 1611, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1611
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_height_health_and_cognitive_function.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:pri:rpdevs:case_paxson_cog_function_additional.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
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    4. Cahit Guven & Wang Sheng Lee, 2013. "Height And Cognitive Function At Older Ages: Is Height A Useful Summary Measure Of Early Childhood Experiences?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 224-233, February.
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    6. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Height, Health, and Cognitive Function at Older Ages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 463-467, May.
    7. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1019-1053, October.
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    14. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2001. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-013, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 15 Mar 2004.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jain, Urvashi & Ma, Mingming, 2020. "Height shrinkage, health and mortality among older adults: Evidence from Indonesia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognition; height; ageing; early-life;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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