The Role of Early-Life Conditions in the Cognitive Decline Due to Adverse Events Later in Life

30 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2010

See all articles by Gerard J. van den Berg

Gerard J. van den Berg

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Dorly Deeg

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics

Maarten Lindeboom

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

France Portrait

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 7, 2009

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.

Keywords: cognitive functioning, business cycle, bereavement, developmental origins, retirement, health, long-run effects, dementia

Suggested Citation

van den Berg, Gerard J. and Deeg, Dorly and Lindeboom, Maarten and Portrait, France, The Role of Early-Life Conditions in the Cognitive Decline Due to Adverse Events Later in Life (December 7, 2009). Netspar Discussion Paper No. 12/2009-043. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1572399 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1572399

Gerard J. Van den Berg

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6132 (Phone)
+32 20 444 6020 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Dorly Deeg

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Maarten Lindeboom (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6033 (Phone)
+31 20 444 6020 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

France Portrait

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6155 (Phone)

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