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Does Schooling Improve Cognitive Abilities at Older Ages: Causal Evidence from Nonparametric Bounds

Vikesh Amin, Jere R. Behrman, Jason M. Fletcher Jason M. Fletcher, Carlos A. Flores, Alfonso Flores-Lagunes and Hans-Peter Kohler
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Vikesh Amin: Central Michigan University
Jere R. Behrman: University of Pennsylvania
Jason M. Fletcher Jason M. Fletcher: University of Wisconsin-Madison, NBER, and IZA
Carlos A. Flores: California Polytechnic State University
Alfonso Flores-Lagunes: Syracuse University, IZA, and GLO
Hans-Peter Kohler: University of Pennsylvania

PIER Working Paper Archive from Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: We revisit the much-investigated relationship between schooling and health, focusing on cognitive abilities at older ages using the Harmonized Cognition Assessment Protocol in the Health & Retirement Study. To address endogeneity concerns, we employ a nonparametric partial identification approach that provides bounds on the population average treatment effect using a monotone instrumental variable together with relatively weak monotonicity assumptions on treatment selection and response. The bounds indicate potentially large effects of increasing schooling from primary to secondary but are also consistent with small and null effects. We find evidence for a causal effect of increasing schooling from secondary to tertiary on cognition. We also replicate findings from the Health & Retirement Study using another sample of older adults from the Midlife in United States Development Study Cognition Project.

Keywords: Schooling; Cognition; Bounds; Aging; Partial Identification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I26 J14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2022-05-20
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-edu, nep-hea and nep-neu
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