Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey

35 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2009

See all articles by John Joseph McArdle

John Joseph McArdle

University of Southern California - Department of Psychology

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Robert J. Willis

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

Dimensions of cognitive skills are potentially important but often neglected determinants of the central economic outcomes that shape overall well-being over the life course. There exists enormous variation among households in their rates of wealth accumulation, their holdings of financial assets, and the relative risk in their chosen asset portfolios that have proven difficult to explain by conventional demographic factors, the amount of bequests they receive or anticipating giving, and the level of economic resources of the household. These may be cognitively demanding decisions at any age but especially so at older ages. This research examines the association of cognitive skills with wealth, wealth growth, and wealth composition for people in their pre and post-retirement years.

Keywords: cognition, financial outcomes

JEL Classification: G10

Suggested Citation

McArdle, John Joseph and Smith, James P. and Willis, Robert J., Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4269. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1434603

John Joseph McArdle (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Department of Psychology ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
United States

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Robert J. Willis

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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