Advances in Management and Applied Economics

Working Hours and Alzheimer’s Disease: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Dataset

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  • Abstract


    Ageing population is a demographic shift that requires adaptations in social and economic sphere. In this respect, many of the older adults is expected to extend their working life. Considering projected increase in the number of older age adults and their raising presence in the labor force as well as higher prevalence of many health conditions among older population, there is an urgent need for more research on working conditions and health among older populations. This article responds to this need and constitutes a first attempt to uncover the relationship between working hours and the probability of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) among older adults in the US. Using Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative longitudinal panel dataset for the US, we applied Cox regression method and probit. We found that for male older workers an increase in working hours decreases the probability of developing AD or onset of Alzheimer’s dementia thereof. In this respect, working long hours might play a protective role against AD. This might be because of engagement in some sort of intellectual activity through employment and socialization.


    JEL classification numbers: J01, J14, I12

    Key words: cognitive reserve hypothesis, elderly, working conditions, health economics, aging