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Retirement and cognitive development: are the retired really inactive?

Author

Listed:
  • Grip Andries de
  • Dupuy Arnaud
  • Jolles Jelle
  • Boxtel Martin van

    (ROA rm)

Abstract

This paper uses longitudinal test data to analyze the relation between retirement andcognitive development. Controlling for individual fixed effects, we find that retirees facegreater declines in information processing speed than those who remain employed.However, remarkably, their cognitive flexibility declines less, an effect that appears to bepersistent 6 years after retirement. Both effects of retirement on cognitive developmentare comparable to those of a five to six-year age difference. They cannot be explained by(1) a relief effect after being employed in low-skilled jobs, (2) mood swings or (3) changesin lifestyle. Controlling for changes in blood pressure, which are negatively related tocognitive flexibility, we still find lower declines in cognitive flexibility for retirees. Sincethe decline in information processing speed after retirement holds particularly for thelow educated, activating these persons after retirement could lower the social costs ofan aging society.

Suggested Citation

  • Grip Andries de & Dupuy Arnaud & Jolles Jelle & Boxtel Martin van, 2012. "Retirement and cognitive development: are the retired really inactive?," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2012003
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    File URL: https://cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl/portal/files/1326492/content
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sahlgren, Gabriel H., 2012. "Work ‘til You Drop: Short- and Longer-Term Health Effects of Retirement in Europe," Working Paper Series 928, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; training and the labour market;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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