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Title:The role of early-life conditions in the cognitive decline due to adverse events later in life PDF Logo
Authors:van den Berg, Gerard J.
Deeg, Dorly J.H.
Lindeboom, Maarten
Portrait, France
Issue Date:2010
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 4780
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.
Subjects:Cognitive functioning
business cycle
bereavement
developmental origins
retirement
health
long-run effects
dementia
JEL:I12
I10
J14
E32
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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