nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2014‒03‒08
seven papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Labour Market Matters - February 2014 By Tran, Vivian
  2. Future scenarios for the development of the European labour force By Anna Ruzik-Sierdzinska
  3. The Miracle Drugs: Hormone Replacement Therapy and Labor Market Behavior of Middle-Aged Women By Daysal, N. Meltem; Orsini, Chiara
  4. Cost-effectiveness of a universal strategy of brief dietary intervention for primary prevention in primary care: population-based cohort study and Markov model By Martin C. Gulliford; Nawaraj Bhattarai; Judith Charlton; Caroline Rudisill
  5. Donating Time to Charity: Not Working for Nothing By Aoki, Yu
  6. Social Security and the Rise in Health Spending By Kai Zhao
  7. Lead markets in age-based innovations By Levsen, Nils; Herstatt, Cornelius

  1. By: Tran, Vivian
    Abstract: The income security of retired Canadians has become an increasing challenge for Canadian policy makers. There has been a significant decline in the coverage of workplace pensions in the private sector and a dramatic shift in the structuring of private-sector pensions away from defined-benefit plans and towards defined contribution plans over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, life expectancies are continuing to rise, which implies that pensions and retirement income need to last longer. Retirement income programs are also facing the retirement of 8 million baby boomers leaving the labour force over the next 15 years (out of a labour force of 18.7 million in 2007). These factors can be expected to place severe financial pressures on retirement income schemes, with implications for the economic well-being of oncoming retirees. The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefit is targeted to help seniors with the intention of raising the incomes of those without sufficient resources of their own or from other government sources to an acceptable level. A CLSRN study by Ross Finnie (University of Ottawa), David Gray (University of Ottawa) and Yan Zhang (Statistics Canada) entitled “The Receipt of Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) Status Among Canadian Seniors – Incidence and Dynamics†(CLSRN Working Paper no. 115) measures the incidence of receipt of GIS payment among those over 65 in Canada and the dynamics of entries and exits from this state. Income in retirement – whether from public or private pensions, savings or employment – is an important determinant of the quality of life for Canadians leaving the workforce. A CLSRN paper entitled “How do the level and composition of income change after retirement? Evidence from the LAD†(CLSRN Working Paper no. 114), by Ross Finnie (University of Ottawa) and Byron G. Spencer (McMaster University), uses a unique dataset that allows the authors to follow individuals from their prime working years into retirement. They find that while incomes drop sharply at retirement, the longer term rates of income replacement are relatively stable over the retirement period.
    Keywords: old age security payment, incidence rate, dynamics, age profile, permanent income, retirement savings, income in retirement, retirement, income replac
    JEL: H22 H23 H55 J26 J14
    Date: 2014–02–27
  2. By: Anna Ruzik-Sierdzinska
    Abstract: The future size and quality of the European labour force are important production factors for future economic growth in the region. The performance of many systems such as social security and health depends on the population of future potential tax payers. Older workers are an important and increasing share of the employment in Europe. Due to lower fertility and longer life expectancy, today, a larger than ever share of the population is over 50. Eurostat projections show that the share of people between the ages of 50 and 74 in the population aged 20-74 will increase in the EU27 countries from the current 40 per cent to 47 per cent in 2050. However, countries differ in terms of elderly activity. Existing studies show that this is related to various factors, including labour market institutions. As demographic ageing is expected to continue in the future, it is important to know more about these factors in order to recommend policies that could be efficient for the development of future labour markets and the economy as a whole.
    Keywords: Labor market, social policy and social services, Europe, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia
    Date: 2014–02
  3. By: Daysal, N. Meltem (University of Southern Denmark); Orsini, Chiara (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: In an aging society, determining which factors contribute to the employment of older individuals is increasingly important. We examine the impact of medical innovations on the employment of middle-aged women focusing on the specific case of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), a common treatment for the alleviation of negative menopausal symptoms. HRT medications were among the most popular prescriptions in the United States until 2002 when the Women's Health Initiative Study – the largest randomized control trial on women ever undertaken – documented the health risks associated with their long term use. We exploit the release of these findings within a Fixed Effect Instrumental Variable framework to address the endogeneity in HRT use. Our results indicate substantial benefits of HRT use to the short-term employment of middle-aged women.
    Keywords: employment, pharmaceutical treatments, Hormone Replacement Therapy
    JEL: I1 H8 J2
    Date: 2014–02
  4. By: Martin C. Gulliford; Nawaraj Bhattarai; Judith Charlton; Caroline Rudisill
    Abstract: Background A healthy diet is associated with reduced risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a universal strategy to promote healthy diet through brief intervention in primary care. Methods The research was informed by a systematic review of randomised trials which found that brief interventions in primary care may be associated with a 0.5 portion per day increase in fruit and vegetable consumption. A Markov model that included five long-term conditions (diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, colorectal cancer and depression) was developed. Empirical data from a large cohort of United Kingdom-based participants sampled from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink populated the model. Simulations compared an intervention promoting healthy diet over 5 years in healthy adults, and standard care in which there was no intervention. The annual cost of intervention, in the base case, was one family practice consultation per participant year. Health service costs were included and the model adopted a lifetime perspective. The primary outcome was net health benefit in quality adjusted life years (QALYs). Results A cohort of 262,704 healthy participants entered the model. Intervention was associated with an increase in life years lived free from physical disease of 41.9 (95% confidence interval -17.4 to 101.0) per 1,000 participants entering the model (probability of increase 88.0%). New incidences of disease states were reduced by 28.4 (18.7 to 75.8) per 1,000, probability reduced 84.6%. Discounted incremental QALYs were 4.3 (-8.8 to 18.0) per 1,000, while incremental costs were £139,755 (£60,466 to 220,059) per 1,000. Net health benefits at £30,000 per QALY were -0.32 (-13.8 to 13.5) QALYs per 1,000 participants (probability cost-effective 47.9%). When the intervention was restricted to adults aged 50 to 74 years, net health benefits were 2.94 (-21.3 to 26.4) QALYs per 1000, probability increased 59.0%. Conclusions A universal strategy to promote healthy diet through brief intervention in primary care is unlikely to be cost-effective, even when delivered at low unit cost. A targeted strategy aimed at older individuals at higher risk of disease might be more cost-effective. More effective dietary change interventions are needed.
    Keywords: dietary intervention; primary care; Markov mode; cost effectiveness; outcomes; diabetes; coronary heart disease; stroke; colorectal cancer; depression
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2014–02–02
  5. By: Aoki, Yu (University of Aberdeen)
    Abstract: This paper explores the causal effect of volunteer work providing daily assistance to the elderly on elderly mortality. To identify the causal effect, I exploit the earthquake that occurred in midwestern Japan in 1995 as a natural experiment inducing exogenous variation in the level of volunteering. The municipalities hit by the earthquake experienced a sharp increase in the level of volunteering. Based on a comparison of mortality between the municipalities with no or little loss of life due to the earthquake, that experienced the sharp increase in the level of volunteering, and the nearby municipalities that were not hit by the earthquake, I find that volunteering significantly reduced elderly mortality. Close attention is paid to ensure that the results are not driven by the direct effects of the earthquake.
    Keywords: volunteer labor, charity, mortality
    JEL: I10 J14
    Date: 2014–02
  6. By: Kai Zhao (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: In a quantitative model of Social Security with endogenous health, I argue that Social Security increases the aggregate health spending of the economy because it redistributes resources to the elderly whose marginal propensity to spend on health is high. I show by using computational experiments that the expansion of US Social Security can account for over a third of the dramatic rise in US health spending from 1950 to 2000. In addition, Social Security has a spill-over effect on Medicare. As Social Security increases health spending, it also increases the payments from Medicare, thus raising its financial burden.
    Keywords: Social Security, Health Spending, Saving, Longevity
    JEL: E20 E60 H30 I00
    Date: 2014–01
  7. By: Levsen, Nils; Herstatt, Cornelius
    Abstract: The trend of population aging is affecting an increasing number of countries around the world, especially advanced economies. One consequence of a growing population share of aged persons is a shift in consumer needs, reflected by a rising number of products and services designed particularly for elderly users. Thus, population aging is a catalyst for new markets and a driver of innovation. A common objective of such age-based innovations is the delay of an age-associated decline in individual autonomy or the restoration of autonomy losses already incurred. In particular, age-based innovations aim to compensate ageassociated deficiencies in sensory perception, cognitive skills, and musculoskeletal status. Age-based innovations are marked by a high level of heterogeneity, both in terms of functionality (e.g. mobility, mental stimulation, financial services) and in terms of industry (e.g. consumer electronics, automotive, banking). Different countries undergo population aging at different times and with different magnitude. As some countries have experienced the phenomenon earlier than others, they have had more time to react and create innovations in response to it. This brings about the question of lead markets - country markets with the characteristic that product or process innovation designs adopted early become the globally dominant design and supersede other innovation designs initially adopted or preferred by other countries (Beise 2001, p.10). Do such lead markets exist within the field of age-based innovations? Moreover, is there possibly a single lead market which consistently leads adoption and diffusion across the heterogeneous range of age-based innovations? Finally, is extant lead market theory applicable to the entirety of age-based innovations - a field of business, where innovation is driven not only by profitability-focused stakeholders but also by a multitude of other stakeholders? These questions delineate a research gap at the intersection of lead market research and age-based innovations research. In order to answer them, a multi-methodology approach was adopted. [...] --
    Date: 2014

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