nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2013‒07‒28
eight papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Social security, economic development and the labor force participation of the elderly in Latin America By Bernardo Queiroz
  2. PRIVATE VERSUS PUBLIC OLD-AGE SECURITY By Barnett, Richard; Bhattacharya, Joydeep; Puhakka, Mikko
  3. The Future of Long-term Care in Japan By Matthew A. COLE; Robert J R ELLIOTT; OKUBO Toshihiro; Eric STROBL
  4. The Role of Costs in Irish Pension Fund Performance By Bridget McNally; Jim Stewart
  5. Diferencial de mortalidade por sexo na macrorregião de saúde sul de Minas Gerais, 1999 e 2009 By Larissa Souza; Pamila Siviero
  7. The road towards a better vital registration system: changes in the mortality profile, under-registration of death counts, and ill-defined causes of deaths in Brazil By Everton Lima; Bernardo Queiroz
  8. Why has social security become less pro poor? By Bea Cantillon; Natascha Van Mechelen; Olivier Pintelon; Aaron Van den Heede

  1. By: Bernardo Queiroz (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: In this paper I investigate labor force participation of older males in Latin America. The empirical analysis is divided in two parts. First, I use household survey data from twenty-three (23) Latin American and the Caribbean countries, from around 2005, to perform a cross-country analysis on labor force participation focusing on differences rural and urban status, formal and informal relation to the labor market and coverage of public pension programs. I also use the data to show different patterns by income level and stage of the demographic transition to describe historical trends in labor force participation rates of older workers. The second part of the paper, I use data on the 23 Latin American countries to investigate the effects of economic development and social security system in the labor force participation of the elderly for the past 30 years.
    Keywords: labor force participation, economic development elderly, social security, retirement, Latin America
    JEL: J10 J11 J14 J18
  2. By: Barnett, Richard (Department of Economics & International Business LeBow College of Business Drexel University); Bhattacharya, Joydeep (Department of Economics Iowa State University); Puhakka, Mikko (Department of Economics University of Oulu)
    Abstract: We compare two institutions head on, a family compact – a parent makes a transfer to her parent in anticipation of a possible future gift from her children – with a pay-as-you-go, social security system in a lifecycle model with endogenous fertility wherein children are valued both as consumption and investment goods. Our focus is strictly on the pension dimension of these competing institutions. We show that an optimally-chosen family compact and a social security system cannot co-exist; indeed, the former may be preferred. A strong-enough negative shock to middle-age incomes destroys family compacts. While such a setting might appear ideal for the introduction of a social security system – as the experience of Europe, circa 1880s, would suggest – this turns out not to be the case: if incomes are too depressed to allow family compacts to flourish, they are also too low to permit introduction of an optimal social security system.
    Keywords: fertility; family compacts; social security; intergenerational cooperation; pensions; self-enforcing constitutions
    JEL: E21 E32
    Date: 2012–09–02
  3. By: Matthew A. COLE; Robert J R ELLIOTT; OKUBO Toshihiro; Eric STROBL
    Abstract: This paper reviews a decade of implementation of the public long-term care insurance (LTCI) program in Japan, which is now experiencing unprecedented pressure from its rapidly aging population. This overview of the program's features focuses on the incentive mechanisms and diversity, and examines official future projections of LTCI costs and their accompanying assumptions. It also includes the discussion of possible reforms for the LTCI program, with an emphasis on the micro aspects of LTCI, as evidenced by the Japanese Study on Aging and Retirement (JSTAR).
    Date: 2013–07
  4. By: Bridget McNally (Department of Economics Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland, Maynooth); Jim Stewart (Trinity College, Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper highlights the lack of transparency in the reporting of overall cost levels incurred by Irish pension schemes and demonstrates the impact of costs on pension fund performance. The paper relies on primary and secondary data analysis of financial statements of Irish pension schemes over a six year period. The paper finds that a significant portion of costs incurred by Irish pension schemes are not disclosed separately in the schemes’ financial statements. This results in a significant lack of transparency as to overall costs incurred annually by pension schemes. The RIY impact of pension fund costs (administrative and all other charges) over the lifetime of a scheme highlights the need for greater focus to be placed on cost efficiencies and competitiveness in any proposals for pension reform in Ireland.
    Keywords: Transparency, R.I.Y. impact, Cumulative effect
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Larissa Souza (UNIFAL); Pamila Siviero (UNIFAL)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyze the differential mortality by sex in health macroregion southern Minas Gerais, in 1999 and 2009. Mortality data and information on population were collected at the website of the Department of the Unified Health System (DATASUS). To measure the difference in mortality between the sexes were analyzed the sex ratio between specific mortality rates and the gap in life expectancy at birth. Regarding the age pattern of differential mortality between the sexes, male disadvantage was observed at all ages, but the most significant increase was in the age group between 20 to 29 years. The mortality tables show that increases in life expectancy occurred at all ages, while the gap in life expectancy at birth reduced. In other words, while life expectancy at birth increases, the gap in life expectancy has decreased in the southern part of Minas Gerais. This behavior is following the trend of developed countries. The results show that in 2009, the southern part of Minas Gerais showed behavior near a group of developed countries in the period 2000-2005.
    Keywords: regional variations in mortality; mortality rates by age and sex; life expectancy gap; Minas Gerais.
    JEL: I10 I18
    Date: 2013–07
  6. By: Bridget McNally (Department of Economics Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland, Maynooth); Jim Stewart (Trinity College, Dublin)
    Abstract: Purpose – This article highlights the gap between the legal responsibilities and the practice of pension fund trustees in Ireland. Design/methodology/approach – The paper relies on primary and secondary data analysis of trustee practice and enforcement cases to highlight the gap between law and practice. Findings - The article finds that there is an inconsistency between legal requirement and practice in the calibre of trustee and trustee training across Irish occupational pension schemes. This has adverse consequences for pension governance and performance. Practical implications. - The findings raise the question as to whether there should be mandatory qualifications for trustees or mandatory standardised trustee training in a prescribed format, with which trustees should comply. It also questions whether there should be a governance code for trustees to ensure a minimum standard or target level of competence and good governance on the part of pension scheme trustees. Originality/value – There is a distinct lack of emphasis in the literature on the inconsistency between the extent of the responsibilities which trustees ultimately carry, and the legal exposure this potentially creates for trustees who unduly rely on other trustees or third parties in the trustee decision making process
    Keywords: Trusts, pension provision, agency issues governance of pension schemes
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Everton Lima (Cedeplar-UFMG); Bernardo Queiroz (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper examines the spatial pattern of ill-defined causes of death across Brazilian regions, and its relationship to the evolution of completeness of death counts registration and the changes in the mortality age profile. We make use of the mortality database available at the Brazilian Ministry of Health Database - Datasus and Population Censuses from 1980 to 2010. We applied traditional demographic methods to evaluate the quality of mortality data for 137 small areas and correct for death counts under-registration when necessary. The second part of the analysis uses linear regression models to investigate the relation between changes in death counts coverage and age profile of mortality to changes in the reporting of ill-defined causes of death. The completeness of death counts coverage increase from about 80% in 1980-1991 to over 95% in 2000-2010 at the same time the percentage of ill-defined causes of deaths reduced about 53% in the country. The analysis suggests that efforts from the central and local governments to improve data quality in Brazil are being successful, and they will allow a better understanding of the dynamics of health and mortality transition in Brazil.
    Keywords: mortality, death counts under-registration, spatial analysis, demographic methods
    JEL: J10 J11 J14 J18
    Date: 2013–07
  8. By: Bea Cantillon; Natascha Van Mechelen; Olivier Pintelon; Aaron Van den Heede
    Abstract: The present paper argues that we are witnessing an increase of the tensions between the three main goals of social security systems (poverty alleviation, securing living standards and prevention) and that, as a consequence, the poverty-reducing capacity of social transfers has come under pressure. The paper focuses on the working age population in 25 EU countries and on the good years before the crisis. Three different data sources are used: ECHP, its successor EU-SILC and the German SOEP. The paper augments the traditional pre-post approach by considering more direct policy indicators such as spending levels, observed average benefit levels and theoretical tax benefit packages and by focussing on the distinction between work-poor and work-rich households. We find that in many countries the relative decline in poverty reduction has primarily affected work-poor households. This observation is confirmed by more direct policy indicators. It may support the hypothesis that in many countries the poverty alleviation function of social protection has come under pressure as a consequence of a shift of attention towards preventing benefit dependency by recommodification on the one hand and ‘securing living standards’ for working families on the other hand.
    Keywords: Europe, welfare state, poverty, redistribution, work intensity, social exclusion
    JEL: D31 I38 O52
    Date: 2013–07

This nep-age issue is ©2013 by Claudia Villosio. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.