A cross-country comparison of math achievement at teen age and cognitive performance 40 years later

Skirbekk V, Bordone V, & Weber D (2014). A cross-country comparison of math achievement at teen age and cognitive performance 40 years later. Demographic Research 31 (4): 105-118. DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2014.31.4.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Maintaining cognitive functioning through mid- to late-life is relevant for the individual and societal aim of active ageing. Evidence shows considerable stability in individual-level rank-ordering of cognitive functioning, but little attention has been given to cohort performance over the life cycle and macro-level factors that could affect it.

METHODS: Using a quasi-longitudinal approach, we compare the relative country ranking in standardised mathematical test scores at teen age in 1964 from the First International Mathematics Study (FIMS) and cognitive test performance at mid-life in 2004, based on the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) for the cohort born between 1949 and 1952.

RESULTS: Our results show that those countries which had the highest scores in math tests taken by 13 years old grade level students are not the same countries that, 40 years later, have the top performing scores in cognitive tests among mid-age adults.

CONCLUSIONS: This article highlights the importance of considering country-level influences on cognitive change over the life cycle, in addition to individual characteristics, and provides some descriptive findings that could be incorporated with further research on the link between specific contextual factors and cognitive functioning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive aging; Cross-country comparison; FIMS; Share
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Bibliographic Reference: Demographic Research; 31(4):105-118 (4 July 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2016 16:13
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10897

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