RIEB Discussion Paper Series No.2022-17

RIEB Discussion Paper Series No.2022-17


How Do Changes in Economic Conditions Affect Cognitive Function?


This study examines the effects of changes in economic conditions on cognitive function using individual panel data from the National Survey of the Japanese Elderly. This study captures the objective, subjective, absolute, and relative terms of economic conditions, and examines which aspects of economic conditions in particular affect cognitive function. The results reveal that deterioration in economic conditions damages cognitive function. Particularly, objective economic conditions affect the cognitive function of Japanese men. Furthermore, economic conditions in relative terms are more important than those in absolute terms. The results further suggest that these deteriorating effects could be attributed to less social engagement and low healthcare utilisation owing to a decline in economic conditions.


Ageing; Cognitive function; Economic conditions; the National Survey of the Japanese Elderly; Relative income

JEL Classification

C23, I14, J14


Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration(RIEB)
Kobe University
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657-8501 Japan
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