Mental Retirement.

TitleMental Retirement.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRohwedder, S, Willis, RJ
JournalJ Econ Perspect
Date Published2010 Winter
ISSN Number0895-3309
Call Numbernewpubs20100921_Rohwedder.pdf

Some studies suggest that people can maintain their cognitive abilities through "mental exercise." This has not been unequivocally proven. Retirement is associated with a large change in a person's daily routine and environment. In this paper, we propose two mechanisms how retirement may lead to cognitive decline. For many people retirement leads to a less stimulating daily environment. In addition, the prospect of retirement reduces the incentive to engage in mentally stimulating activities on the job. We investigate the effect of retirement on cognition empirically using cross-nationally comparable surveys of older persons in the United States, England, and 11 European countries in 2004. We find that early retirement has a significant negative impact on the cognitive ability of people in their early 60s that is both quantitatively important and causal. Identification is achieved using national pension policies as instruments for endogenous retirement.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

early Retirement/Cognition/retirement Planning/Public Policy/labor Force Participation/cross-national comparison/Social Security and Public Pensions/Economics of the Elderly/Economics of the Handicapped/Non-labor Market Discrimination/Retirement/Retirement Policies/ELSA_/SHARE

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Econ Perspect
Citation Key7496
PubMed ID20975927
PubMed Central IDPMC2958696
Grant ListP01 AG008291-10 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG026571 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG026571-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG022481 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R24 HD041028 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG022481-05 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG008291 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States