nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2013‒01‒19
ten papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Sticky Ages: Why Is Age 65 Still a Retirement Peak? By Norma B. Coe; Mashfiqur Khan; Matthew S. Rutledge
  2. Age groups and the Measure of Population Aging By Hippolyte D'Albis; Fabrice Collard
  3. The Expansion of Non-Contributory Transfers in Uruguay in Recent Years By Verónica Amarante; Andrea Vigorito
  4. Are Retirement Decisions Vulnerable to Framing Effects? Empirical Evidence from NL and the US By Federica Teppa; Maarten van Rooij
  5. Joint Leisure Before and After Retirement : a double Regression Discontinuity Approach By Elena Stancanelli; Arthur Van Soest
  6. Health, Education, and the Post-Retirement Evolution of Household Assets By James M. Poterba; Steven F. Venti; David A. Wise
  7. Joint macro/micro evaluations of accrued-to-date pension liabilities: an application to French reforms By D. BLANCHET; S. LE MINEZ
  8. Optimal Life-cycle Capital Taxation under Self-Control Problems By Nicola Pavoni; Hakki Yazici
  9. A methodology to estimate the workforce outflows due to re-tirements in the public sector: the case of the Regione Liguria health system for the period 2012-2025 By Barbara Cavalletti; Corrado Lagazio; Riccardo Podestà
  10. Bayesian inference and data cloning in population projection matrices By J. de la Horra Navarro; J. Miguel Marín; M. T. Rodríguez Bernal

  1. By: Norma B. Coe; Mashfiqur Khan; Matthew S. Rutledge
    Abstract: When Social Security’s Full Retirement Age (FRA) increased to age 66 for recent retirees, the peak retirement age increased with it. However, a large share of people continue to claim their Social Security benefits at age 65. This paper explores two potential explanations for the “stickiness” of age 65 as a claiming age: Medicare eligibility and workers’ lack of knowledge about their future Social Security benefits. First, we analyze the impact of Medicare eligibility by comparing two groups – one has an FRA of exactly 65; the other, between age 65 and 2 months and age 66. We find that the group with later FRAs who do not have access to retiree health benefits through their employer are more likely to claim Social Security at age 65. We interpret this finding as evidence that Medicare eligibility persuades more people to retire, because they can begin receiving federal health coverage. Individuals without access to retiree health insurance at work are 7.5 percentage points more likely to retire soon after their 65th birthdays and are 5.8 percentage points less likely to delay retirement until the FRA than those with that insurance. This result fits into extensive research showing that access to health insurance is an important component of the retirement decision. On the question of whether misinformation about Social Security benefits may drive individuals to claim at age 65, we find that some individuals are unable to accurately forecast their retirement benefits. However, our analysis suggests that there is no relationship between this confusion and the age 65 peak for claiming Social Security.
    Date: 2013–01
  2. By: Hippolyte D'Albis (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne); Fabrice Collard (Department of Economics - University of Bern - 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
  3. By: Verónica Amarante (ECLAC/CEPAL); Andrea Vigorito (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
    Abstract: During the first half of the 20th century, Uruguay was able to establish an institutional system of universal social policies in the areas of education, labour and health which involved the coverage of most of the population (Filgueira, 1994). In the context of social protection, a system of contributory cash-based transfers was created which aimed to protect workers in the formal sector?and through them their families?and to provide them with an adequate retirement to replace their income. With regard to non-contributory transfers, in 1919 a social pension scheme for elderly and disabled people was created, targeting those people over 70 years of age considered socially vulnerable. In 1942 the system of contributory Family Allowances (Asignaciones Familiares) came into force, consisting of monthly cash benefits to workers in the formal sector with children. (...)
    Keywords: The Expansion of Non-Contributory Transfers in Uruguay in Recent Years
    Date: 2012–08
  4. By: Federica Teppa; Maarten van Rooij
    Abstract: This study investigates whether individual choices in the pension domain are vulnerable to the way alternatives are communicated to respondents. The analysis is based on a set of hypothetical questions posed in the DNB House-hold Survey as well as in the RAND American Life Panel on pension premium contributions and pension savings investment profiles. The design of the questions presented to the respondent in several alternative ways allows to test for the potential role of framing effects, as well as order and choice set effects. We find that framing has a significant and robust impact on individuals decisions. The effect is particularly strong for the alternative labeled as ‘standard’ option. In contrast, the answer categories order does not seem to be always significantly relevant. We also find that hypothetical preferences are consistent with the individual risk profile and actual portfolio allocations. The findings suggest that the presence of framing effects is strongly correlated with the complexity of decisions to be made and highlight the importance of communication with respect to retirement decisions.
    Keywords: Framing effects; Individual decision making; Retirement behavior and pensions
    JEL: C5 C9 D12 G11
    Date: 2012–12
  5. By: Elena Stancanelli (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Arthur Van Soest (Tilburg University - Netspar)
    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
    Date: 2012–12
  6. By: James M. Poterba; Steven F. Venti; David A. Wise
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between education and the evolution of wealth after retirement. Asset growth following retirement depends in part on health capital and financial capital accumulated prior to retirement, which in turn are strongly related to educational attainment. These “initial conditions” for retirement can have a lingering effect on subsequent asset evolution. Our aim is to disentangle the effects of education on post-retirement asset evolution that operate through health and financial capital accumulated prior to retirement from the effects of education that impinge directly on asset evolution after retirement. We consider the indirect effect of education through financial resources—in particular Social Security benefits and defined benefit pension benefits—and through health capital that was accumulated before retirement. We also consider the direct effect of education on asset growth following retirement, emphasizing the correlation between education and the returns households earn on their post-retirement investments. Households with different levels of education invest, on average, in different assets, and they may consequently earn different rates of return. Finally, we consider the additional effects of education that are not captured through these pathways. Our empirical findings suggest a substantial association between education and the evolution of assets. For example, for two person households the growth of assets between 1998 and 2008 is on average much greater for college graduates than for those with less than a high school degree. This difference ranges from about $82,000 in the lowest asset quintile to over $600,000 in the highest.
    JEL: E21 I14 I24
    Date: 2013–01
  7. By: D. BLANCHET (Insee); S. LE MINEZ (Insee)
    Abstract: Accrued-to-date liabilities (ADLs) could soon add to the set of regular statistics on public pensions, in compliance with updated SNA provisions. This raises two questions: how can this indicator be produced, and what for? Microsimulation is shown to constitute a relevant answer to the first question. Despite its stochastic nature, it displays results that seem stable enough for accounting purposes. Concerning the what for question, it is well-known that ADLs are not an indicator of global financial sustainability. Their message is more interesting from the household perspective and especially at the micro level. This fosters the case for microsimulation that automatically produces consistent micro/macro results. All these macro and micro properties are illustrated in the French case, with applications to the assessment of the successive 1993, 2003 and 2010 reforms that have modified entitlements in rather complex ways, differentiated across cohorts and skill levels.
    Keywords: Accrued-to-date liabilities, microsimulation, pension reforms
    JEL: C53 H55 J26
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Nicola Pavoni; Hakki Yazici
    Abstract: We study optimal taxation of savings in an economy where agents face self-control problems and are allowed to be partially naive. We assume that the severity of self-control problems changes over the life-cycle. We focus on quasihyperbolic discounting with constant elasticity of intertemporal substitution utility functions and linear Markov equilibria. We derive explicit formulas for optimal taxes that implement the efficient allocation. We show that if agents’ ability to self-control increases concavely with age, then savings should be subsidized and the subsidy should decrease with age. We also show that allowing for age-dependent self-control problems creates large effects on the level of optimal subsidies, while optimal taxes are not very sensitive to the level of sophistication. JEL classification: E21, E62, D03. Keywords: Self-control problems, Linear Markov equilibrium, Life cycle taxation of savings.
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Barbara Cavalletti (University of Genoa, Italy); Corrado Lagazio (University of Genoa, Italy); Riccardo Podestà (Liguria Ricerche, Genoa, Italy)
    Abstract: During the last decade the issue of human resource planning in the health sector has become central for the implementation of possible reforms in the direction of improved efficiency, effectiveness and equity. This paper focuses on some methodological issues concerning the planning of health services in the region Liguria (Italy) and, in particular, on the estimation of outflows from the health system, due to retirements. These flows exert a considerable influence on the dynamics of the workforce as they determine the size of supply of health services and are crucial for planning the training of health personnel. The results for the period 2012-2025 show some elements and identify some important trends. As for the nurses, the stronger variations in the provision of health services are due to early resignations, mostly due to the burn-out phenomenon along with the gender imbalance (82% of staff are women). As for physicians, General Surgery and Internal Medicine are at greater risk of possible shortages, although it should be taken into account the role of technological innovation on the ability to meet the evolution of demand for health services. The high number of retirements is therefore an opportunity to redefine the skills needed by the regional health system in the light of the foreseen trends in demand
    Keywords: human resources management, health system, retirement
    JEL: I18 I19 J22 J24 J26
    Date: 2012–09
  10. By: J. de la Horra Navarro; J. Miguel Marín; M. T. Rodríguez Bernal
    Abstract: Discrete time models are used in Ecology for describing the evolution of an agestructured population. Usually, they are considered from a deterministic viewpoint but, in practice, this is not very realistic. The statistical model we propose in this article is a reasonable model for the case in which the evolution of the population is described by means of a projection matrix. In this statistical model, fertility rates and survival rates are unknown parameters and they are estimated by using a Bayesian approach. Usual Bayesian and data cloning methods (based on Bayesian methodology) are applied to real data from the population of the Steller sea lions located in the Alaska coast since 1978 to 2004. The estimates obtained from these methods show a good behavior when they are compared to the actual values
    Keywords: Population projection matrices, Data cloning, Age-structured population, Leslie matrix, Bayesian MCMC algorithm
    Date: 2013–01

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