Publications by authors named "Thorsten Kneip"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Bodyweight change and cognitive performance in the older population.

PLoS One 2021 21;16(4):e0249651. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich, Germany.

Preservation of cognitive function is one of the major concerns in contemporary ageing societies. At the same time, overweight and obesity, which have been identified as risk factors for poor health development, have been increasing in many countries all over the world. This study examines the relationship between bodyweight change and cognitive decline in old age and it aims to determine whether and how changes in body mass index (BMI) affect the development of cognitive functioning in old age. Using longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), covering four waves between 2006 and 2016 with 58,389 participants from 15 countries aged 50+, we estimated asymmetric fixed effects models by gender, adding possible confounding variables such as age, grip strength, health conditions, and physical activity. Additionally, we investigated possible heterogeneity in the BMI-cognition relation. We found a positive association between BMI change and change in cognitive performance, which was dominantly driven by BMI decrease. Weight loss was typically negatively related to cognition, particularly at low levels of BMI and mainly due to health conditions affecting both bodyweight and cognitive performance. Weight gain was, on average, not significantly related to cognitive performance; only respondents with preceding weight loss profited from small increases in BMI. Our analyses provide no support for an "obesity paradox" in cognition, according to which higher weight preserves cognition in old age. The association between weight change and cognitive performance in older age is based on weight changes being related to illness and recovery.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249651PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8059803PMC
April 2021

Dyadic fertility decisions in a life course perspective.

Adv Life Course Res 2014 Sep 27;21:87-100. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Max-Planck-Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging, Amalienstr. 33, 80799 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

This paper focuses on how couples arrive at joint decisions with regard to fertility behaviour. We build upon previous work on decision rules that couples might apply as heuristics in order to arrive at joint action in cases in which partners' fertility preferences differ. Previous research found either stronger effects of women's desires or symmetrical effects of both spouses' desires and net benefits associated with (further) children on proceptive behaviour. The latter finding is in line with the notion of household utility maximisation, in which both partners' preferences enter into a joint utility function with equal weight. On the other hand, some evidence indicates that one partner can exercise a 'veto' if he or she anticipates individual utility losses from a further child (due to opportunity costs arising in other life domains). We now enhance previous research by applying a life-course perspective. Our analysis makes use of variation in initial conditions due to previous births: couples decide on fertility in different situations as they find themselves in different life course stages and have had certain experiences. Parity-specific differences affect not only fertility outcomes but also the decision-making process itself. Our findings show that the decision to have a first child is made jointly, and each partner may exercise a veto. On the other hand, women appear to dominate decisions on higher parity births, not per se, but because they are (still) the ones more affected by the concomitant housework.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alcr.2013.11.003DOI Listing
September 2014

Direct and indirect effects of unilateral divorce law on marital stability.

Demography 2014 Dec;51(6):2103-26

Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienstr. 33, 80799, Munich, Germany,

Previous research examining the impact of unilateral divorce law (UDL) on the prevalence of divorce has provided mixed results. Studies based on cross-sectional cross-country/cross-state survey data have received criticism for disregarding unobserved heterogeneity across countries, as have studies using country-level panel data for failing to account for possible mediating mechanisms at the micro level. We seek to overcome both shortcomings by using individual-level event-history data from 11 European countries (SHARELIFE) and controlling for unobserved heterogeneity over countries and cohorts. We find that UDL in total increased the incidence of marital breakdown by about 20 %. This finding, however, neglects potential selection effects into marriage. Accordingly, the estimated effect of unilateral divorce laws becomes much larger when we control for age at marriage, which is used as indicator for match quality. Moreover, we find that UDL particularly affects marital stability in the presence of children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13524-014-0337-2DOI Listing
December 2014

Data Resource Profile: the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).

Int J Epidemiol 2013 Aug 18;42(4):992-1001. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Munich Center for the Economics of Aging, Max-Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienst. 33, 80799 Munich, Germany.

SHARE is a unique panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks covering most of the European Union and Israel. To date, SHARE has collected three panel waves (2004, 2006, 2010) of current living circumstances and retrospective life histories (2008, SHARELIFE); 6 additional waves are planned until 2024. The more than 150 000 interviews give a broad picture of life after the age of 50 years, measuring physical and mental health, economic and non-economic activities, income and wealth, transfers of time and money within and outside the family as well as life satisfaction and well-being. The data are available to the scientific community free of charge at www.share-project.org after registration. SHARE is harmonized with the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and has become a role model for several ageing surveys worldwide. SHARE's scientific power is based on its panel design that grasps the dynamic character of the ageing process, its multidisciplinary approach that delivers the full picture of individual and societal ageing, and its cross-nationally ex-ante harmonized design that permits international comparisons of health, economic and social outcomes in Europe and the USA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyt088DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780997PMC
August 2013