Gender Differences in Cognition in China

James P. Smith, RAND Corporation

In this paper, I model gender differences in cognitive ability in China using a new sample of middle aged and older Chinese respondents. Modeled after the American HRS, CHARLS is a national representative survey of the Chinese population ages 45 and over. My cognition measures proxy for two different dimensions of adult cognition- episodic memory and intact mental status. On both measures, Chinese women score much lower than do Chinese men, a gender difference that grows among older Chinese cohorts. I will relate both these cognition scores to individual schooling, urban residence, family and community levels of economic resources, and height and examine cohort specific changes by gender in the cognition outcomes of both Chinese women and men.

  See paper

Presented in Session 107: Cognition over the Life Course