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Height and cognition at older age: Irish evidence

Irene Mosca and Robert Wright ()

No 1611, Working Papers from University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics

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.

Keywords: cognition; height; ageing; early-life (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 J0 J1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-edu, nep-eur and nep-neu
Date: 2016-07
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