nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2009‒07‒28
six papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Why Is The World Getting Older? The Influence of Happiness on Mortality By Cahit Guven; Rudolph Saloumidis
  2. A New Perspective on Population Ageing. By Warren C. Sanderson; Sergei Scherbov
  3. The Effects of Age Structure on Economic Growth: An Application of Probabilistic Forecasting in India By Alexia Prskawetz; Thomas Kögel; Warren C. Sanderson; Sergei Scherbov
  4. Decomposing the Change in Labour Force Indicators over Time. By Alexia Prskawetz; Barbara Zagaglia; Thomas Fent; Vegard Skirbekk
  5. Can Immigration Compensate for Europe's Low Fertility? By Wolfgang Lutz; Sergei Scherbov
  6. SOEP as a Source for Research on Ageing – Issues, Measures and Possibilities for Improvement By Laura Romeu Gordo; Andreas Motel-Klingebiel; Susanne Wurm

  1. By: Cahit Guven; Rudolph Saloumidis
    Abstract: World life expectancy has risen by around 20 years in the last 50 years. This period has also witnessed rising happiness levels around the world suggesting that happiness might be one of the causes behind the decline in mortality. We investigate the relationship between happiness and mortality using the German Socio-Economic Panel. We consider doctor visits, self-reported health, and presence of chronic illness as health measures. After controlling for initial health conditions, we find that happiness extends life expectancy. 10 percent increase in happiness decreases probability of death by four percent, and this effect is more pronounced for men and younger people. Happiness plays a more important role for chronically ill people in decreasing mortality than for those who are not chronically ill. The positive influence of happiness on mortality can offset the negative impact of chronic illness. Marriage decreases mortality and this effect appears to work through increased happiness.
    Keywords: happiness; mortality; health; chronic illness.
    JEL: I10 I12
    Date: 2009–03–13
  2. By: Warren C. Sanderson; Sergei Scherbov
    Abstract: In Sanderson and Scherbov (2005) we introduced a new forwardlooking definition of age called “prospective age” and argued that its use, along with the traditional backward-looking concept of age, provides a more informative basis upon which to discuss population ageing. Age is a measure of how many years a person has already lived. Everyone of the same age has lived the same number of years. In contrast, prospective age is concerned about the future. Everyone with the same prospective age has the same expected remaining years of life. In this paper, we first explore the concept of prospective age in detail and show, using an analytic formulation, historical data, and forecasts, that prospective age is, in most cases, insensitive to whether it is measured using period or cohort life tables. We, then, use the two age concepts in concert and demonstrate how this enriches our understanding of population ageing in developed countries since 1960.
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Alexia Prskawetz; Thomas Kögel; Warren C. Sanderson; Sergei Scherbov
    Abstract: During recent years there has been an increasing awareness of the explanatory power of demographic variables in economic growth regressions. We estimate a new model of the effects of age structure change on economic growth. We use the new model and recent probabilistic demographic projections for India to derive the uncertainty of predicted economic growth rates caused by the uncertainty in demographic developments.
    Keywords: Economic growth, age structure, probabilistic demographic projections, India
    Date: 2009–05
  4. By: Alexia Prskawetz; Barbara Zagaglia; Thomas Fent; Vegard Skirbekk
    Abstract: In this paper we study changes in the size and the composition of the labour force in ve OECD countries from 1983 through 2000. We apply a recent decomposition method to quantify the components of the change over time in the crude labour force rate and the mean age of the labour force. Our results show that the change in the crude labour force rate was dominated by the change in age-specic labour force participation rates. For the mean age of the labour force we nd that for males the change in the age composition of the population predominately explains the overall change while the results for females are less clear-cut.
    Date: 2009–05
  5. By: Wolfgang Lutz; Sergei Scherbov
    Abstract: This paper addresses in a systematic demographic manner the widely discussed question: To what extent can immigration compensate for low fertility in Europe? We begin with a set of 28 alternative scenarios combining seven different fertility levels with four different migration assumptions at the level of the EU-15 to 2050. Next, we address the research question in the context of probabilistic population projections, and the new concept of conditional uncertainty distributions in population forecasting is introduced. Statistically this is done by sorting one thousand simulations into low, medium, and high groups for fertility and migration according to the average levels of paths over the simulation period. The results show a similar picture to that of the probability-free scenarios, but also indicate that for the old-age dependency ratio, the uncertainty about future mortality trends greatly adds to the ranges of the conditional uncertainty distributions.
    Date: 2009–05
  6. By: Laura Romeu Gordo; Andreas Motel-Klingebiel; Susanne Wurm
    Date: 2009

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