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The Role of Early-Life Conditions in the Cognitive Decline due to Adverse Events Later in Life

Gerard van den Berg, Dorly J. H. Deeg (), Maarten Lindeboom () and France Portrait ()
Additional contact information
Dorly J. H. Deeg: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
France Portrait: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

No 4780, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Cognitive functioning of elderly individuals may be affected by events such as the loss of a (grand)child or partner or the onset of a serious chronic condition, and by negative economic shocks such as job loss or the reduction of pension benefits. It is conceivable that the impact of such events is stronger if conditions early in life were adverse. In this paper we address this using a Dutch longitudinal database that follows elderly individuals for more than 15 years and contains information on demographics, socio-economic conditions, life events, health, and cognitive functioning. We exploit exogenous variation in early-life conditions as generated by the business cycle. We also examine to what extent the cumulative effect of consecutive shocks later in life exceeds the sum of the separate effects, and whether economic and health shocks later in life reinforce each other in their effect on cognitive functioning.

Keywords: long-run effects; health; cognitive functioning; business cycle; bereavement; developmental origins; retirement; dementia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E32 I10 I12 J14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2010-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-cbe, nep-hap, nep-lab and nep-neu
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (41)

Published - published in: Economic Journal, 2010, 120 (548), F411-F428

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Journal Article: The Role of Early-Life Conditions in the Cognitive Decline due to Adverse Events Later in Life (2010)
Working Paper: The role of early-life conditions in the cognitive decline due to adverse events later in life (2010) Downloads
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