The causal effect of social activities on cognition: evidence from 20 European countries

Christelis, D. and Dobrescu, L. I. (2020) The causal effect of social activities on cognition: evidence from 20 European countries. Social Science and Medicine, (doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.112783) (In Press)

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Abstract

Using harmonized data from 20 European countries, we examine the causal effect of being socially active on old age cognition. To address the endogeneity of social participation, we employ nonparametric partial identification methods that bound the average treatment effect for the population under fairly plausible, and thus credible, 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.

Item Type:Articles
Status:In Press
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Christelis, Dr Dimitris
Authors: Christelis, D., and Dobrescu, L. I.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Social Science and Medicine
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0277-9536
ISSN (Online):1873-5347
Published Online:09 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Social Science and Medicine 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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