nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2011‒10‒09
six papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Do Stronger Age Discrimination Laws Make Social Security Reforms More Effective? By David Neumark; Joanne Song
  2. Age and productivity: Sector differences? By Göbel, Christian; Zwick, Thomas
  3. Who gets a mammogram amongst European women aged 50-69 years and why are there such large differences across European countries? By Wübker, Ansgar
  4. The Role of Guarantees in Defined Contribution Pensions By Pablo Antolín; Stéphanie Payet; Edward R. Whitehouse; Juan Yermo
  5. No Country for Old Men: Aging Dictators and Economic Growth By Jong-A-Pin, R.; Mierau, J. O.
  6. Modeling the evolution of age and cohort effects in social research By Sam Schulhofer-Wohl; Yang Yang

  1. By: David Neumark; Joanne Song
    Abstract: Supply-side Social Security reforms to increase employment and delay benefit claiming among older individuals may be frustrated by age discrimination. We test for policy complementarities between supply-side Social Security reforms and demand-side efforts to deter age discrimination, specifically studying whether stronger state-level age discrimination protections enhanced the impact of the increases in the Social Security Full Retirement Age (FRA) that occurred in the past decade. The evidence indicates that, for older individuals who were “caught” by the increase in the FRA, benefit claiming reductions and employment increases were sharper in states with stronger age discrimination protections.
    JEL: H55 J14 J71 J78 K31
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: Göbel, Christian; Zwick, Thomas
    Abstract: In most industrialised countries, the workforce is ageing rapidly. If ageing workforces affect sectors differently, the total impact of ageing will depend on the industrial structure of an economy. This paper measures the impact of changes in the age structure of establishments on productivity using representative linked employeremployee panel data. We argue that establishment age-productivity profiles might differ for various reasons. For example, the importance of physical strength and possibilities to compensate deficits in skills differ between sectors. We investigate differences in the age-productivity profiles between the (metal) manufacturing and services sectors. However, in our preferred specification that controls for several potential sources of estimation biases, we find no significant differences in the ageproductivity profiles between these sectors. --
    Keywords: Ageing workforce,age,productivity,linked employer employee data,sectors
    JEL: J11 J14 J21
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Wübker, Ansgar
    Abstract: On the basis of the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement (SHARE), we analyse the determinants of who engages in mammography screening focusing on European women aged 50-69 years. A special emphasis is put on the measurement error of subjective life expectancy and on the measurement and impact of physician quality. Our main findings are that physician quality, better education, having a partner, younger age and better health are associated with higher rates of receipt. The impact of subjective life-expectancy on screening decision substantially increases after taking measurement error into account. In light of the enormous differences in mammography screening rates between the European countries that can be detected even if several individual characteristics are taken into account, we explore in a second step the causes of these screening differences using newly available data from the SHARELIFE. The results reveal that in countries with low screening rates (e.g. Denmark, Greece and Poland) many reasons (financial restrictions, time costs, access barriers, lack of information, not usual and low perceived benefits of screening) are significant predictors of not receiving a mammogram. In contrast in countries with high screening rates such as the Netherlands only beliefs regarding the benefits of mammograms (Not considered to be necessary) and the cause Not usual to get this type of care seem to be important screening barriers. --
    JEL: I11 I18
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Pablo Antolín; Stéphanie Payet; Edward R. Whitehouse; Juan Yermo
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of guarantees in DC pension plans, in particular minimum investment return guarantees during the accumulation phase. The main goal is to assess the cost and benefits of different return guarantees. The report uses a stochastic financial market model where guarantee claims are calculated as a financial derivative in a financial market framework (like e.g. the valuation of a put option). In this context, the report highlights the value of capital guarantees that protect the nominal value of contributions in DC pension plans. However, such guarantees can only be introduced relatively easily in the very specific context considered in this report. Allowing plan members vary contribution periods or investment strategies, or change providers, would raise major challenges for an effective and efficient implementation of return guarantees in a DC context. This would increase the complexity and cost of administering the guarantee.<P>Le role de garanties dans les plans de retraite a cotisations definies<BR>Ce papier examine le rôle des garanties dans les plans de retraite à cotisations définies, en particulier les garanties de rendement minium sur l'investissement pendant la phase d'accumulation. Le rapport utilise un modèle de marché financier stochastique dans lequel les demandes de garantie sont calculées en tant que dérivés financiers dans un contexte de marché financier (comme par exemple la valorisation d'une option put). Dans ce contexte, le rapport souligne la valeur de la garantie du capital, qui protège la valeur nominale des cotisations aux plans de retraite à cotisations définies. Toutefois, ces garanties ne peuvent être introduites relativement facilement que dans le contexte spécifique de ce rapport. Si les adhérents des plans à cotisations définies sont autorisés à modifier les périodes de cotisation ou les stratégies d'investissement, ou à changer de prestataire, cela poserait des défis importants pour une implémentation efficace et efficiente des garanties sur les rendements. Cela augmenterait la complexité et le coût d'administration des garanties.
    Keywords: pensions, defined contribution, guarantees, minimum return guarantees, accumulation phase, put options, pensions, plans de retraite à cotisations définies, garanties, garanties de rendement minimums, la phase d’accumulation
    JEL: G12 G23 J26
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Jong-A-Pin, R.; Mierau, J. O.
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of the relationship between the age of a dictator and economic growth. In the model a dictator must spread the resources of the economy over his reign but faces mortality and political risk. The model shows that if the time horizon of the dictator decreases, either due to an increase of mortality risk or political risk, the economic growth rate decreases. The model predictions are supported by empirical evidence based on a three-way fixed effects model including country, year and dictator fixed effects for a sample of dictators from 116 countries. These results are robust to sample selection, the tenure of dictators, the definition of dictatorship, and a broad set of economic growth determinants.
    JEL: H11 O11 O43
    Date: 2011–09–18
  6. By: Sam Schulhofer-Wohl; Yang Yang
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new way of modeling age, period, and cohort effects that improves substantively and methodologically on the conventional linear model. The linear model suffers from a well-known identification problem: If we assume an outcome of interest depends on the sum of an age effect, a period effect, and a cohort effect, then it is impossible to distinguish these three separate effects because, for any individual, birth year = current year – age. Less well appreciated is that the model also suffers from a conceptual problem: It assumes that the influence of age is the same in all time periods, the influence of present conditions is the same for people of all ages, and cohorts do not change over time. We argue that in many applications, these assumptions fail. We propose a more general model in which age profiles can change over time and period effects can have different influences on people of different ages. Our model defines cohort effects as an accumulation of age-by-period interactions. Although a long-standing literature on theories of social change conceptualizes cohort effects in exactly this way, we are the first to show how to statistically model this more complex form of cohort effects. We show that the additive model is a special case of our model and that, except in special cases, the parameters of the more general model are identified. We apply our model to analyze changes in age-specific mortality rates in Sweden over the past 150 years. Our model fits the data dramatically better than the additive model. The estimates show that the rate of increase of mortality with age among adults became more steep from 1881 to 1941, but since then the rate of increase has been roughly constant. The estimates also allow us to test whether early-life conditions have lasting impacts on mortality, as under the cohort morbidity phenotype hypothesis. The results give limited support to this hypothesis: The impact of early-life conditions lasts for several years but is unlikely to reach all the way to old age.
    Date: 2011

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