Can Demographically Caused Cognitive Decline in China and India Be Offset by Investments in Education?

Marcin Stonawski, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Cracow University of Economics

Unprecedented growth in the elderly population shares is experienced in China and India, and this study focuses on the implications for overall cognitive functioning development in these countries. Age-related decline in certain cognitive abilities can imply a decrease in overall cognition levels. Although the cognitive ability levels among the 50 plus are lower in India, China ages faster than India – leading to the average cognition levels to fall faster in China and reducing the differences between the two countries. Improvements in education levels, however, could potentially have an opposing effect. We estimate that projected educational increases could lead to a stabilization of our human capital measure for China and a slight increase for India, in spite of aging.

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Presented in Poster Session 3