The Cognitive Impact of Social Activities in Older Age

46 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2012 Last revised: 8 Mar 2017

See all articles by Dimitris Christelis

Dimitris Christelis

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples Federico II; Center for Financial Studies (CFS); ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR); Netspar

Loretti Dobrescu

University of New South Wales, School of Economics

Date Written: February 25, 2017

Abstract

This study examines the causal effect of being socially active on old age cognition, using harmonized data from 18 European countries. We handle the endogeneity of social participation via nonparametric partial identification methods that bound the average treatment effect while using fairly weak assumptions. We find strong evidence that social activities have a positive impact on all cognitive dimensions we analyze. At their upper bound these effects are quite large, while at their lower bound they are more modest but still salient. Additionally, we show that ignoring the endogeneity of social activities severely underestimates the uncertainty about their causal effect on cognition. Finally, our results hold true regardless of respondents’ region of residence, sex, age, education, or income.

Keywords: Cognition, Social Activities, Ageing, Partial Identification, SHARE

JEL Classification: I10, J14, C14

Suggested Citation

Christelis, Dimitris and Dobrescu, Loretti Isabella, The Cognitive Impact of Social Activities in Older Age (February 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2141386 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2141386

Dimitris Christelis (Contact Author)

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples Federico II ( email )

Via Cintia, Monte S. Angelo
Naples, NA 80126
Italy

Center for Financial Studies (CFS) ( email )

GrĂĽneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) ( email )

Australian School of Business
Ground Floor, East Wing UNSW Kensington Campus
Sydney, New South Wales NSW 2052
Australia
+61 (2) 9931 9202 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cepar.edu.au

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Loretti Isabella Dobrescu

University of New South Wales, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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