nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2008‒08‒14
nine papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Longitudinal Data Collection in Continental Europe: Experiences from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in (SHARE) By Axel Börsch-Supan; Karsten Hank; Hendrik Jürges; Mathis Schröder
  2. Generationenbeziehungen im alternden Europa: Analysepotenziale und Befunde des Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe By Karsten Hank
  3. The High Cost of Low Fertility in Europe By David E. Bloom; David Canning; Günther Fink; Jocelyn E. Finlay
  4. Demographic effects on the German labour supply : a decomposition analysis By Fuchs, Johann; Söhnlein, Doris; Weber, Brigitte
  5. Economic Well-Being at Older Ages: Income- and Consumption-Based Poverty Measures in the HRS By Michael Hurd; Susann Rohwedder
  6. Bayesian Demographic Modeling and Forecasting: An Application to U.S. Mortality By Wolfgang Reichmuth; Samad Sarferaz
  7. Aging, Poverty, and Social Pension in Vietnam By Giang , Thanh Long; Pfau, Wade Donald
  8. Demographic Changes and Pension Finances in Vietnam By Giang, Thanh Long; Pfau, Wade Donald
  9. Determinants of Elderly Poverty in Vietnam By Giang , Thanh Long; Pfau, Wade Donald

  1. By: Axel Börsch-Supan; Karsten Hank; Hendrik Jürges; Mathis Schröder (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Date: 2008–08–05
  2. By: Karsten Hank (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: Neben den bekannten drei Säulen der Altersvorsorge – gesetzliche, private und betriebliche Rente – bildet die Familie das zentrale Element der individuellen Absicherung, nicht nur im Alter, sondern im gesamten Lebensverlauf. Der Generationenvertrag der Familie geht dabei weit über eine rein materielle Unterstützung ihrer Mitglieder durch ein Versichertenkollektiv hinaus (z.B. Kohli 1999). Umso schwerer wiegt die häufig geäußerte Besorgnis, dass familiäre Netzwerke zukünftig nur noch unzureichend, falls überhaupt, den ihnen traditionell zugeschriebenen Aufgaben nachkommen könnten (z.B. Popenoe 1993). Dies nehmen wir zum Anlass, anhand von drei exemplarischen Analysen auf Basis von Mikrodaten des Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE; vgl. Börsch-Supan et al. 2005) eine Bestandsaufnahme der Generationenbeziehungen im heutigen – alternden – Europa zu versuchen und gleichzeitig das Forschungspotenzial des inzwischen als Längsschnittdatensatz verfügbaren SHARE zu demonstrieren (vgl. hierzu auch Börsch-Supan et al. 2008).
    Date: 2008–06–10
  3. By: David E. Bloom (Harvard School of Public Health); David Canning (Harvard School of Public Health); Günther Fink (Harvard School of Public Health); Jocelyn E. Finlay (Harvard School of Public Health)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of fertility on income per capita with a particular focus on the experience of Europe. For European countries with below-replacement fertility, the high cost of continued low fertility will only be observed in the long run. We show that in the short run, a fall in the fertility rate will lower the youth dependency ratio and increase the working-age share, thus raising income per capita. In the long run, however, the burden of old-age dependency dominates the youth dependency decline, and continued low fertility will lead to small working-age shares in the absence of large immigration inflows. To illustrate these effects we construct a population accounting model and simulate steady-state outcomes. Regression analysis indicates the differing marginal effects of long-term fertility change in Europe versus the rest of the world.
    Keywords: demography, growth, age structure, population, economy.
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Fuchs, Johann (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Söhnlein, Doris (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Weber, Brigitte (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Forecasts show a substantially decreasing and ageing labour force in Germany. This paper provides a decomposition of the projected change in the overall labour force into three parts. The first, called the 'demographic component', shows the effects of fertility, mortality and a changing age structure of the population. The second effect is the migration component. This part is due to the cumulative net inflow of migrants, but includes their reproductive behaviour as well. Changes in the participation rates give the third effect, the participation component. The decomposition was conducted by comparing different labour force scenarios until 2050. The method can easily be extended for decomposition into more than three factors. Not surprisingly, the downward trend in the labour force is attributable only to population effects. Ageing of the baby-boom generation and low birth rates both are the responsible factors behind. Neither a strong increase in labour force participation nor large immigration flows can halt this trend in the labour force. As the age structure is almost given and increasing fertility rates only have positive effects in the very long run, the projected decline in the labour force should be taken as a fact." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Arbeitskräfteangebot - Prognose, Erwerbspersonenpotenzial - Determinanten, demografischer Wandel, Wanderung - Auswirkungen, Erwerbsverhalten, Geschlechterverteilung
    JEL: J11 J21 F22
    Date: 2008–08–06
  5. By: Michael Hurd; Susann Rohwedder
    Abstract: According to economic theory, well-being or utility depends on consumption. However, at the household level, total consumption is rarely measured because its collection requires a great deal of survey time. As a result income has been widely used to assess economic well-being and poverty rates. Yet, because households can use wealth to consume more than income, an income-based measure of well-being could yield misleading results for many households, especially at older ages. The authors use data from the Health and Retirement Study to find income-based poverty rates which they compare with poverty rates as measured in the Current Population Survey. They use HRS consumption data to calculate a consumption-based poverty rate and study the relationship between income-based and consumption-based poverty measures. They find that the poverty rate based on consumption is lower than the income-based poverty rate. Particularly noteworthy is the much lower rate among the oldest single persons such as widows. The explanation for the difference is the ability to consume out of wealth.
    JEL: I32 J14
    Date: 2006–11
  6. By: Wolfgang Reichmuth; Samad Sarferaz
    Abstract: We present a new way to model age-specific demographic variables with the example of age-specific mortality in the U.S., building on the Lee-Carter approach and extending it in several dimensions. We incorporate covariates and model their dynamics jointly with the latent variables underlying mortality of all age classes. In contrast to previous models, a similar development of adjacent age groups is assured allowing for consistent forecasts. We develop an appropriate Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm to estimate the parameters and the latent variables in an efficient one-step procedure. Via the Bayesian approach we are able to asses uncertainty intuitively by constructing error bands for the forecasts. We observe that in particular parameter uncertainty is important for long-run forecasts. This implies that hitherto existing forecasting methods, which ignore certain sources of uncertainty, may yield misleadingly sure predictions. To test the forecast ability of our model we perform in-sample and out-of-sample forecasts up to 2050, revealing that covariates can help to improve the forecasts for particular age classes. A structural analysis of the relationship between age-specific mortality and covariates is conducted in a companion paper.
    Keywords: Demography, Age-specific, Mortality, Lee-Carter, Stochastic, Bayesian, State Space Models, Forecasts
    JEL: C11 C32 C53 I10 J11
    Date: 2008–07
  7. By: Giang , Thanh Long; Pfau, Wade Donald
    Abstract: By using the Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey in 2004, this paper seeks to quantify the potential role and impacts of a social pension scheme for reducing elderly poverty in Vietnam. We simulate how the poverty rate, poverty gap, and poverty severity of the elderly would have been changed in the counterfactual situation that such a scheme had been introduced to Vietnam in the past. We consider a number of categorical targeting groups of elderly people along with various transfer parameters to assess the impacts of the scheme on social welfare. We find that, depending on the characteristics of the social pension, there would be beneficial poverty reductions, but also large leakages to the non-poor people. For a variety of measures, our results suggest that targeting the elderly in rural areas might be the most effective use of limited resources. Also, simulations for different budgetary constraints show that, even with limited budgeting, a social pension scheme would significantly reduce poverty incidence for the elderly. For example, the elderly poverty gap could be reduced by almost 60 percent with a program that costs one percent of GDP.
    Keywords: aging; poverty; social pensions; Vietnam
    JEL: H55 I38 I32
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Giang, Thanh Long; Pfau, Wade Donald
    Abstract: This paper aims to provide a long-term financial vision for the Vietnamese pension scheme using stochastic modeling for key variables under an actuarial framework. In particular, we project the pension fund balances in order to see whether the scheme will be financially sustainable. The median values of the status-quo projections show that the pension fund will be depleted in about 2052 with a 90-percent confidence interval range of 8 years. The estimated results from our sensitivity tests show that the retirement age, the indexation method for pension benefits, and the contribution rate are all crucial determinants of the pension fund balance in the long term. At the same time, some factors, including coverage rates, administrative costs, the long-term fertility rate, and the rate of return on pension fund assets play less important roles in determining the fund’s balance.
    Keywords: aging; stochastic projections; pension finances; Vietnam
    JEL: H55 G23
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Giang , Thanh Long; Pfau, Wade Donald
    Abstract: By using household data in 2004, this paper identifies the determinants of the elderly poverty in Vietnam. We find that urban and rural elderly are substantially different, and thus they should be analyzed separately. The results for urban areas generally show that higher ages, unmarried status, residential regions, and working status have significant impacts on the likelihood of poverty for the elderly. In rural areas, higher ages, female, unmarried status, ethnic minorities, residential regions, household composition, and household size are determinant factors of the likelihood of poverty for the elderly. We also found some factors which are less important for both areas, including characteristics of household heads. Remittances and social security benefits appear to be important for reducing poverty of the elderly households, particularly in the rural areas. Based on findings, we formulate policy priorities, including reducing regional disparities, promoting the rural economy, and reforming the social security system.
    Keywords: elderly; poverty; Vietnam
    JEL: H55 I38 I32
    Date: 2008–05

This nep-age issue is ©2008 by Claudia Villosio. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.