nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2014‒08‒16
five papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Overcoming Vulnerabilities of Pension Systems By Falilou Fall; Debra Bloch
  2. Aging and Migration in a Transition Economy: The Case of China By Bodvarsson, Örn B.; Hou, Jack W.; Shen, Kailing
  3. Individual and Societal Wisdom: Explaining the Paradox of Human Aging and High Well-Being By Jeste, Dilip V.; Oswald, Andrew J.
  4. Future labour markets By Kauhanen, Antti
  5. The sex differential in mortality: a historical comparison of the adult-age pattern of the ratio and the difference By Oliver Wisser; James W. Vaupel

  1. By: Falilou Fall; Debra Bloch
    Abstract: Demographic developments are unfavourable for the financing of pension schemes in most OECD countries, implying continued growth in pension expenditure in virtually all OECD countries. This paper examines the vulnerability of pension systems, with an emphasis on financial sustainability and adequacy. Policy trade-offs and complementarities are reviewed and flanking policies which could underpin successful pension reforms are examined. Automatic adjustment mechanisms are highlighted, as are the roles of prudential regulation and buffer or reserve funds in the case of shocks. Pension system vulnerability indicators are presented for all OECD countries, and the challenges and vulnerabilities of pensions systems in the BRIICS countries are reviewed. Surmonter les vulnérabilités des systèmes de retraite Les évolutions démographiques sont défavorables au financement des systèmes de retraite dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE et se traduisent par une hausse des dépenses. Ce document examine la vulnérabilité des systèmes de retraites en se focalisant sur la durabilité financière et le niveau adéquat des pensions. Les complémentarités et les choix de politiques sont analysés ainsi que les politiques d’accompagnement qui pourraient sous-tendre une réussite des réformes des retraites. Les mécanismes d’ajustement automatique sont mis en évidence ainsi que le rôle de la régulation prudentielle, des fonds tampons ou de réserves en cas de chocs. Des indicateurs de vulnérabilité des systèmes de retraite sont présentés pour tous les pays membres de l’OCDE, de même, les défis et vulnérabilités des systèmes de retraite des pays BRIICS sont passés en revue.
    Keywords: ageing, pensions, defined-contribution schemes, pension sustainability, defined-benefit schemes, prestations définies, retraites, contributions définies, vieillissement, durabilité
    JEL: H55 H75 J32
    Date: 2014–07–03
  2. By: Bodvarsson, Örn B. (California State University, Sacramento); Hou, Jack W. (California State University, Long Beach); Shen, Kailing (Xiamen University)
    Abstract: Post-reform China has been experiencing two major demographic changes, an extraordinary amount of internal migration and an aging population. We present a general migration model which captures the idea that older migrants have shorter durations in the destination but possibly larger general human capital to transfer. Therefore, the incentive to migrate is ambiguously related to age. We test the theoretical implication using an extended modified gravity model, nuanced to fit the case of a transition economy. We find that shifts in China's age distribution have generated significant changes in the country's migration patterns.
    Keywords: internal migration, age distribution, reforms
    JEL: J61 J11
    Date: 2014–07
  3. By: Jeste, Dilip V. (University of California); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick and CAGE abstract- Objective: Although human aging is characterized by loss of fertility and progressive decline in physical abilities, later life is associated with better psychological health and well-being. Furthermore, there has been an unprecedented increase in average lifespan over the past century without corresponding extensions of fertile and healthy age spans. We propose a possible explanation for these paradoxical phenomena. Method- We reviewed the relevant literature on aging, well-being, and wisdom. Results-An increase in specific components of individual wisdom in later life may make up for the loss of fertility as well as declining physical health. However, current data on the relationship between aging and individual wisdom are not consistent, and do not explain increased longevity in the general population during the past century. We propose that greater societal wisdom (including compassion) may account for the notable increase in average lifespan over the last century. Data in older adults with serious mental illnesses are limited, but suggest that many of them too experience improved psychosocial functioning, although their longevity has not yet increased, suggesting persistent stigma against mental illness and inadequate societal compassion.Conclusions- Research should focus on the reasons for discrepant findings related to ageassociated changes in different components of individual wisdom; also, more work is needed on the construct of societal wisdom. Studies of wisdom and well-being are warranted in older people with serious mental illnesses, along with campaigns to enhance societal compassion for these disenfranchised individuals. Finally, effective interventions to enhance wisdom need to be developed and tested.)
    Keywords: Life-cycle happiness, subjective well-being, wisdom, psychiatry, U shape
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Kauhanen, Antti
    Abstract: Information and communications technology, global value chains, and population ageing are changing the structures of the labour market. These three factors affect the tasks carried out in Finland in the future and the division of labour between humans and computers. The changes are taking place at the individual level and affect the ways of working and income inequality. This report surveys the economic literature on these topics.
    Keywords: ICT, global value chains, population ageing, structural change
    JEL: J21 J24 J62 F16
    Date: 2014–08–06
  5. By: Oliver Wisser (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); James W. Vaupel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: The ratio (RMR) is the standard measure of sex differentials in mortality. It is commonly known that the RMR was historically small and increased throughout the 20th century. However, numerical properties might account for the trend in the RMR rather than sex differences in risk factors. In this study we examine the age pattern of the absolute difference in male to female mortality rates (DMR) as an alternative measure in a historical context and compare it to the RMR pattern. Whereas the RMR is close to one at every age in the 19th and early 20th century and increases until the present day, the adult age pattern of the DMR is relatively stable throughout the last 150 years. We also found that the DMR is approximately exponentially increasing from age 40 to 90, implying a universal biological force behind sex differentials in mortality. However, interactions between biology, behavior and environment are complicated and have to be considered when interpreting these findings. Moreover, between ages 15 and 40 the DMR declined in the second half of the 20th century, whereas the RMR increased. Hence, the trend in the latter measure is likely to be an artifact of very different mortality regimes between populations. Therefore, we argue that it is necessary to consider both measures when conducting comparative analyses and to be careful in interpreting their time, cross-cultural and age trends, since they can lead to different conclusion about sex specific underlying risk factors.
    Keywords: England, Europe, France, Sweden, adult mortality, historical analysis, sex differentials
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2014–06

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