nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2012‒12‒22
eleven papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Age Groups and the Measure of Population Aging. By Hippolyte d'Albis; Fabrice Collard
  2. GINI DP 53: The Redistributive Capacity of Services in the EU By Verbist, G. (Gerlinde); Matsaganis, M. (Manos)
  3. GINI DP 27: Recent Trends in Minimum Income Protection for Europe's Elderly By Goedemé, T.
  4. Joint Leisure Before and After Retirement : a double Regression Discontinuity Approach. By Elena Stancanelli; Arthur Van Soest
  5. Africa, a young but ageing continent By Valérie Golaz; Laurent Nowik; Muriel Sajoux
  6. Selected Aspects of Household Savings in Germany: Evidence from Micro-Data By Christina Kolerus; Isabell Koske; Felix Hüfner
  7. Population Policies, Demographic Structural Changes, and the Chinese Household Saving Puzzle By Ge, Suqin; Yang, Dennis Tao; Zhang, Junsen
  8. A comparative study of well-being for elders in Mexico and England By David Vázquez Guzman
  9. Institutional Capacity to Engage Older Adults for Volunteer Work in Vienna, Austria By Alexandra Thompson
  10. Is Innovative Firm Behavior Correlated with Age and Gender Composition of the Workforce? Evidence from a New Type of Data for German Enterprises By Pfeifer, Christian; Wagner, Joachim
  11. Do Fewer People Mean Fewer Cars? – Population Decline and Car Ownership in Germany By Nolan Ritter; Colin Vance

  1. By: Hippolyte d'Albis (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); Fabrice Collard (Department of Economics - University of Bern)
    Abstract: This paper proposes the use of optimal grouping methods for determining the various age groups within a population. The cutoff ages for these groups, such as the age from wich an individual is considered to be an older person, are then endogenous variables that depend on the entire population age distribution at any given moment. This method is applied to the age distributions of some industrialized countries, for which cutoff ages as well as the main indicators of aging are calculated over the last 50 years.
    Keywords: Population aging, age distributions, aging indexes, optimal grouping, old age, demographic measures.
    Date: 2012–11
  2. By: Verbist, G. (Gerlinde); Matsaganis, M. (Manos)
    Abstract: Welfare states provide social benefits in cash and in kind. Cash benefits are income transfers, such as retirement pensions, family and unemployment benefits and social assistance. Benefits in kind are commodities directly transferred to recipients at zero or below-market prices (Barr 2012). In Europe, benefits in kind are usually services, such as health, education, child care and care for the elderly. For example, hospital care in most countries is provided either free of charge or at near-zero prices (at the point of use). User fees are even rarer in the case of primary and secondary education: enrolment is compulsory up to a certain age, while tuition is provided free of charge to all children attending publicly funded schools, irrespective of family income. Moreover, child care is often heavily subsidised; kindergartens are run by the state (most commonly local governments) or government-supervised private organisations, while user fees, where applicable, are usually income-related (in the sense that higher-income families pay higher fees, while lower-income ones pay less or are fully exempted). Elderly care may also be available on similar terms; besides, several countries have developed long-term care insurance schemes, to cater for the future needs of an ageing population. ...
    Date: 2012–07
  3. By: Goedemé, T.
    Abstract: In Europe, the elderly stand out for their heavy reliance on welfare state arrangements for securing their living standard. In spite of relatively high elderly at-risk-of-poverty rates in many EU member states, the past two decades have witnessed a tendency to re-strengthen the link between past contributions and pension benefi ts, and to rely more strongly on private pensions. At the same time, public pension replacement rates are projected to decrease in a large number of European countries. In this context, minimum income protection for Europe’s elderly is likely to become even more important for alleviating elderly poverty than is the case today. Yet, minimum income protection schemes targeted at the elderly have remained largely undocumented in the international literature. Therefore, this chapter reviews existing minimum income policies for the elderly in Europe and develops a typology based on entitlement and eligibility criteria. Building on data from a project involving national experts from 25 EU member states, it is shown that in the 2000s welfare erosion of elderly persons’ non-contributory minimum income guarantees has been limited. Moreover, a substantial number of countries has pursued a deliberate policy of increases in minimum income benefi ts for the elderly. Nonetheless, only in a few countries benefi ts are adequate for lifting elderly persons above the poverty line. At the same time, differences between EU member states in terms of mode of access and benefi t levels remain large.
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Elena Stancanelli (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); Arthur Van Soest (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: The economic litterature on retirement argues that individuals in a couple tend to retire at a choice time because of externalities in leisure. Ealier studies dit not investigate the extent to which partners actually spend more leisure time together upon retiring. Exploiting the law on early retirement age in France, we use a regression discontinuity approach to identify the causal effect of retirement on hours of leisure, separate and together, of the man and woman in a couple. We use a sample of couples drawn from a French Time Use Survey for the analysis. Using four different definitions of joint leisure, we conclude that generally both separate and joint leisure hours of partners increase significantly upon own retirement. In particular, the hours of leisure spent together by the couple increase on average by about an hour and a half per day upon wife's retirement and by less than an hour upon husband's retirement. The positive effect of partners' retirement on joint leisure is close in size to that on separate leisure or house work hours of partners.
    Keywords: Regression discontinuity, retirement, leisure.
    JEL: C26 C31 J26 J22
    Date: 2012–12
  5. By: Valérie Golaz; Laurent Nowik; Muriel Sajoux
    Abstract: The countries of Africa have young populations today, but progress in life expectancy and the sharp drop in birth rates will lead to population ageing. This change will be incomparably faster than the slow ageing process observed in developed countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: by 2050, the number of persons aged 60 and over will increase four-fold in Africa, raising yet another social challenge for the continent. At present, old persons in Africa are supported primarily through private solidarity. In the future, it will be increasingly difficult for families to meet the special needs of growing numbers of older adults unless public policies can provide the necessary backup.
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Christina Kolerus; Isabell Koske; Felix Hüfner
    Abstract: This paper uses household level data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) over the period 1991 to 2008 to analyse the driving factors of movements in the German household savings rate. Specifically, it analyses the impact of the precautionary savings motive and the impact of the 2002 private pension reform (the so-called Riester reform) on households’ savings rate as these factors are among the most discussed in the German context. There is evidence for both factors at work: First, households with a more volatile income stream tend to save more and the extent to which they do depends on their (subjectively assessed) risk aversion. Second, the introduction of the Riester pension scheme in 2002 was associated with a general increase in the household savings rate, both for households that signed up for private pension contracts and for those that did not. This effect is not found for low-income households, thus confirming the findings of other studies.<P>Principaux aspects de l'épargne des ménages en Allemagne : indications fournies par les microdonnées<BR>Ce document s’appuie sur des données recueillies auprès des ménages par le German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) sur la période 1991-2008 afin d’analyser les déterminants des variations du taux d’épargne des ménages allemands. Il analyse en particulier l’impact du désir d’épargne de précaution et l'impact de la réforme des retraites privées de 2002 (« réforme Riester ») sur le taux d’épargne des ménages, ces facteurs étant parmi ceux qui présentent le plus d’intérêt dans le cas de l’Allemagne. Il apparaît que ces deux éléments jouent un rôle : En premier lieu, les ménages dont le revenu est plutôt irrégulier épargnent généralement plus et ce, en fonction de leur degré d’aversion au risque (évalué subjectivement). En second lieu, la mise en place du régime de retraite Riester en 2002 s’est accompagnée d’une hausse générale du taux d’épargne des ménages, aussi bien pour les signataires de contrats de retraite privés que pour les autres. Cet effet n’apparaît pas pour les ménages à faible revenu, ce qui confirme les résultats des autres études.
    Keywords: retirement savings, household saving rate, GSOEP, precautionary savings, Riester reform, épargne pour la retraite, taux d’épargne des ménages, GSOEP, épargne de précaution, réforme Riester
    JEL: D12 D91 E21
    Date: 2012–11–20
  7. By: Ge, Suqin (Virginia Tech); Yang, Dennis Tao (University of Virginia); Zhang, Junsen (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: Using combined data from population censuses and Urban Household Surveys, we study the effects of demographic structural changes on the rise in household saving in China. Variations in fines across provinces on unauthorized births under the one-child policy and in cohort-specific fertility influenced by the implementation of population control policies are exploited to facilitate identification. We find evidence that older households with a reduced number of adult children save more because of old-age security concerns, middle-aged households experience an increase in saving due to the lighter burden of dependent children, and younger households save more because of having fewer siblings to share the responsibility of parental care. These findings lend support to a simple economic model in which the effects of population control policies are investigated in the context of household saving decisions in China.
    Keywords: household saving, one-child policy, demographic structure, cohort analysis, China
    JEL: E21 J11 J13
    Date: 2012–11
  8. By: David Vázquez Guzman (Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez)
    Abstract: This paper establishes econometrically a clear connection between levels of happiness, health and cognition with their respective levels of income, using Mexican (MHAS) and English (ELSA) data. In general, elderly people increase their happiness with income, education, with a partner and when healthier, but decrease with unemployment and divorce. Mexican cognition ability and being indigenous impact negatively in happiness, but being white and more cognitive is better for the English. Physical health is better in both countries considering income, education, employment and mental health. A strong result is that depression and restlessness affect negatively physical health in general. English people seem to deteriorate health because of debts, but not the Mexicans. Elder Mexicans are severely punished in their health when living in consensual unions, but the English are the healthiest living under this family organization. Mental health, approximated with cognition ability, was the relationship with less significance. Divorcees in Mexico have more cognitive ability. Considering gender, we found happier men, but older and more cognitive women in general.
    Keywords: Well-being, elderly people, comparative studies, England, Mexico
    JEL: J14 J16 I10 I20 O57
    Date: 2012–05–01
  9. By: Alexandra Thompson
    Date: 2012–09–26
  10. By: Pfeifer, Christian (Leuphana University Lüneburg); Wagner, Joachim (Leuphana University Lüneburg)
    Abstract: This empirical research note documents the relationship between composition of a firm's workforce (with a special focus on age and gender) and its performance with respect to innovative activities (outlays and employment in research and development (R&D)) for a large representative sample of enterprises from manufacturing industries in Germany using unique newly available data. We find that firms with a higher share of older workers have significantly lower proportions of R&D outlays in total revenues and of R&D employment in total employment, whereas firms with a higher share of female employment seem to be more active in R&D.
    Keywords: ageing, firm performance, gender, Germany, innovation, R&D
    JEL: D22 D24 J21 J24 L25
    Date: 2012–11
  11. By: Nolan Ritter; Colin Vance
    Abstract: Drawing on household data from Germany, this study econometrically analyzes the determinants of automobile ownership, focusing specifically on the extent to which decreases in family size translate into fewer cars at the national level. Beyond identifying several variables over which policy makers have direct leverage, including the price for fuel, the supply of public transit, and land use features, the analysis uses the estimated coefficients from a multinomial logit model to simulate car ownership rates under alternative scenarios pertaining to demographic change and other socioeconomic variables. Our baseline scenario predicts continued increases in the number of cars despite decreases in population, a trend that could be partially offset by substantial increases in fuel prices.
    Keywords: Car ownership; demographic change; Germany; multinomial logit; simulation
    JEL: C25 D10 R41
    Date: 2012–11

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