nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2013‒06‒16
six papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. To love or to pay: Savings and health care in older age. By Loretti I. Dobrescu
  2. How Important Is Medicare Eligibility in the Timing of Retirement? By Norma B. Coe; Mashfiqur R. Khan; Matthew S. Rutledge
  3. The age-productivity pattern: Do location and sector affiliation matter? By Mahlberg, Bernhard; Freund, Inga; Crespo Cuaresma, Jesús; Prskawetz, Alexia
  4. Long term care provision, hospital length of stay and discharge destination for hip fracture and stroke patients By James Gaughan; Hugh Gravelle; Rita Santos; Luigi Siciliani
  5. Insurance corporations and pension funds in OECD countries By Massimo Coletta; Belen Zinni
  6. Productivity and age: Evidence from work teams at the assembly line By Weiss M.; B?rsch-Supan A.

  1. By: Loretti I. Dobrescu (University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper develops a dynamic structural life-cycle model to study how heterogeneous health and medical spending shocks a¤ect the savings behavior of the elderly. Individuals are allowed to respond to health shocks in two ways: they can directly pay for their health care expenses (self-insure) or they can rely on health insurance contracts. There are two possible insurance options, one through formal contracts and another through informal care provided by family. Formal contracts may be a¤ected by asymmetric information problems, whereas informal insurance depends on social ties (cohesion) and on bequeathable wealth. I estimate the model on SHARE data using simulated method of moments for four levels of wealth in a sample of single retired Europeans. Counterfactual experiments show that health, medical spending and health insurance are indeed the main drivers of the slow wealth decumulation in old age. I also fi?nd that social cohesion rises with age, declines with wealth and is higher in Mediterranean countries than in Central European and Scandinavian countries. Finally, high social cohesion appears typically associated with increased life expectancy.
    Keywords: savings, health, health insurance, social cohesion, life expectancy
    JEL: D1 D31 E27 H31 H51 I1
    Date: 2012–12
  2. By: Norma B. Coe; Mashfiqur R. Khan; Matthew S. Rutledge
    Abstract: Eligibility for Medicare at age 65 is widely viewed as an important factor in retirement decisions. However, it has been difficult to quantify the influence of Medicare because eligibility for Medicare came at the same age as Social Security’s Full Retirement Age (FRA). The recent rise in the FRA, along with other changes, has decoupled the age-related incentives in the two programs, making it easier to estimate the effect of Medicare eligibility on the timing of retirement. This brief, based on a recent study, provides such estimates of the importance of Medicare on retirement decisions. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section discusses the relationship between Medicare eligibility and the timing of retirement. The second section describes the metric used for assessing the timing of retirement and the effect of Medicare eligibility. The third section reports the findings. The fourth section concludes that Medicare eligibility is a significant factor in the retirement decision, but that changes in the availability of health insurance for retirees could alter its importance going forward.
    Date: 2013–05
  3. By: Mahlberg, Bernhard; Freund, Inga; Crespo Cuaresma, Jesús; Prskawetz, Alexia
    Abstract: Current demographic developments are expected to challenge the sustainability of welfare in industrialised economies. Persistent low fertility levels and increasing survival rates to older age imply a decreasing share of younger individuals within the labour force that needs to support an increasing share of old people out of the labour force. We use matched employeremployee data for Austria at the firm level in order to study the link between the age structure and labour productivity and concentrate on the role played by regional location and sector affiliation. We apply multilevel estimation techniques in order to account for systematic variation of the age-productivity pattern with regard to these two dimensions. Our results indicate that the age-productivity pattern differs significantly across regions and across sectors and that sectoral differences are the more sizable source of heterogeneity in the link between the age structure and firm productivity. --
    Keywords: age-productivity profile,firm heterogeneity,employer-employee data,multilevel regression methods,regional variability,sectoral variability
    JEL: C21 J14 J24 J82 R11
    Date: 2013
  4. By: James Gaughan (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Hugh Gravelle (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Rita Santos (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Luigi Siciliani (Centre for Health Economics and Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, UK)
    Abstract: Expenditure on long term care is expected to rise, driven by an ageing population. Coordination between health and long term care is increasingly a priority for policymakers. Elderly individuals living at home who suffer trauma, such as hip fracture or stroke, generally require immediate acute hospital care, followed by long term care and assistance which can be provided either in their home or in a residential or nursing home. However, little is known about the effects of one sector on the other. This study examines the association between formal long term care supply and the probability of being discharged to a long-term care institution (a nursing home or a care home) and length of stay in hospital for patients admitted for hip fracture or stroke.
    Date: 2013–06
  5. By: Massimo Coletta (Banca d'Italia); Belen Zinni (OECD)
    Abstract: Insurance companies and pension funds are part of complex systems of private insurance and public social protection created to reduce the cost of economic hazards. In the current phase of the business cycle, with many OECD countries struggling with low economic growth, high public deficits and debts, ageing populations and expensive welfare systems, private insurance is bound to play an increasing role. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the evolution of insurance companies and pension funds in OECD countries over the period 1995-2009. Secondly, it examines the impact of this evolution on households’ financial wealth. The paper finds that both insurance companies and private pensions still account for a small share of the financial sector as a whole and that the recent financial crisis has significantly reduced their asset value. These institutions nonetheless account for an increasing share of households’ financial assets. The paper also calls for further improvements in the consistency between supervisory and national accounting standards and in overall data quality to enhance cross-country data comparability and support the policy-making process.
    Keywords: insurance companies, pension funds
    JEL: G22 G23
    Date: 2013–06
  6. By: Weiss M.; B?rsch-Supan A. (GSBE)
    Abstract: We study the relation between workers age and their productivity in work teams, based on a new and unique data set that combines data on errors occurring in the production process of a large car manufacturer with detailed information on the personal characteristics of workers related to the errors. We correct for non-random sample selection and the potential endogeneity of the age-composition in work teams. Our results suggest that productivity in this plant which is typical for large-scale manufacturing does not decline at least up to age 60.
    Keywords: Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity; Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity;
    JEL: J24 J14 D24
    Date: 2013

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