The Cognitive Impact of Social Activities in Older Age
46 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2015 Last revised: 8 Mar 2017
Date Written: December 28, 2014
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, bounds, SHARE
JEL Classification: I10, J14, C14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation