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Be smart, live long: the relationship between cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and mortality
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

I study the association between cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and mortality, and investigate how well income and education act as proxy measures for ability. The risk of premature mortality is estimated using Cox proportional hazard models with a dataset of 692,303 Swedish men aged 18-20 years, enlisted between the years 1969-1983, and deaths between the years 1969 and 2009. Results suggest that both cognitive and non-cognitive abilities are strongly associated with mortality, independently and through income and education. Non-cognitive ability is a stronger predictor of the risk of mortality than cognitive ability. For middle and high income earners, and individuals with a college education, there are no associations between the abilities and mortality. However, for low income earners and individuals without a college education, cognitive and non-cognitive ability have strong associations with mortality. Results are mainly driven by the bottom of the measured ability distributions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: IFAU , 2015. , 39 p.
, IFAU Working papers, 21
Keyword [en]
Cognitive ability, non-cognitive ability, mortality, education, income
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-264764OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-264764DiVA: diva2:861473
Available from: 2015-10-16 Created: 2015-10-16 Last updated: 2015-10-16

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Öhman, Mattias
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Department of Economics

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