Height and cognition at older ages: Irish evidence

Irene Mosca, Robert E. Wright

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Abstract

Previous research suggests that taller individuals have greater cognitive ability. The aim of this paper is to empirically investigate whether the relationship between height and cognition holds in later-life using data from the first wave of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). Seven measures of cognition are used. These measures capture aspects of cognition which are more likely to decline in old age, such as cognitive flexibility, processing speed, concentration and attention. It is found that height is positively and significantly associated with cognition in later-life also when education and early-life indicators are controlled for. The finding that adult height is a marker for nutrition and health
environment experienced in early-life is widely accepted in literature. The findings of this paper suggest that height might have a greater value added, as it appears to be a useful measure of unobserved childhood experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-101
Number of pages4
JournalEconomic Letters
Volume149
Early online date18 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • cognition
  • height
  • ageing
  • early-life

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