Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey

55 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2009 Last revised: 19 Sep 2010

See all articles by John J. McArdle

John J. McArdle

University of Southern California - College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

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)

Date Written: August 2009

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.

Suggested Citation

McArdle, John J. and Smith, James P. and Willis, Robert J., Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey (August 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15266. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1459567

John J. McArdle

University of Southern California - College of Letters, Arts and Sciences ( email )

Playa Vista, CA
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 (Contact Author)

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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