Cognitive aging, Pandemics, and Decision Making

Faculty Member: 

Sarah Guan Janine Tu

Proposal Description:

Cognitive aging creates significant challenges to health and well-being of the fast-growing aging population, which may also incur substantial care and financial burden on family and society. Early recognition of cognitive impairment and psychosocial support may confer important advantages, allowing for improved decision-making regarding life planning, health care, and financial matters. This project looks for research assistance to examine the role played by cognitive impairment on financial and health decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among vulnerable populations such as those less educated, disabled, and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. The study will be based on a retrospective, longitudinal cohort design using 1996-2020 Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), matched with COVID-19-related questions, the psychosocial self-administered questionnaire, and COVID-19 US state policy database. We will leverage within-individual variation and state-level policy variation to examine the relationship. Through this summer program, the research assistant will have the opportunity to learn from other members in the research team.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

Proficiency in a statistical/econometric software package (e.g. STATA) and ability to work on complex survey data are required skills.