nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2014‒10‒03
ten papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Increased longevity and social security reform : questioning the optimality of individual accounts when education matters By Gilles Le Garrec
  2. The Financial Status of Private Sector Multiemployer Pension Plans By Alicia H. Munnell; Jean-Pierre Aubry
  3. Does homeownership partly explain low participation in supplementary pension schemes? By Marco Santantonio; Costanza Torricelli; Maria Cesira Urzì Brancati
  4. Modellrechnungen zur Bestimmung der Alterseinkünfte auf der Basis von Erwerbsverläufen By Volker Meinhardt
  5. The impact of spousal bereavement on self-assessed health status: evidence from the Taiwanese elderly population By Fu-Min Tseng; Dennis Petrie; Roberto Leon-Gonzalez
  6. Occupation, Prestige, and Voluntary Work in Retirement: Empirical Evidence from Germany By Holger Lengfeld; Jessica Ordemann
  7. Migration in Italy is Backing the Old Age Welfare By Daniela del Boca; Alessandra Venturini
  8. Reducing Old Age and Economic Vulnerabilities : Why Uganda Should Improve its Pension System By World Bank
  9. The Multidimensional Nature of Social Capital: An Empirical Investigation for Older People in Europe By Brenda Gannon; Jennifer Roberts
  10. Did Men Benefit More from Medical Progress in Recent Decades? Cause-of-Death Contributions to the Decreasing Sex-Gap in Life Expectancy in the United States By Magdalena Muszyñska; Roland Rau Roland

  1. By: Gilles Le Garrec (OFCE Sciences PO)
    Abstract: In many European countries, population aging had led to debate about a switch from conventional unfunded public pension systems to notional sys- tems characterized by individual accounts. In this article, we develop an overlapping generations model in which endogenous growth is based on an accumulation of knowledge driven by the proportion of skilled workers and by the time they have spent in training. In such a framework, we show that conventional pension systems, contrary to notional systems, can enhance eco- nomic growth by linking beneÖts only to the partial earnings history. Thus, to ensure economic growth, the optimal adjustment to increased longevity could consist in increasing the size of existing retirement systems rather than switching to national system
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Alicia H. Munnell; Jean-Pierre Aubry
    Abstract: The brief’s key findings are: *While most multiemployer pension plans are finding their financial footing, a substantial minority face serious problems. *The key reason is a declining financial base, which results in negative cash flow. *Plans deemed in “critical” condition can raise contributions, cut future benefits, and/or cut “adjustable” benefits that apply to retirees as well as active workers. *To date, plans have focused on raising contributions and cutting adjustable benefits, with less emphasis on cutting benefit accruals for active workers. *Nevertheless, a simple model suggests that one third of “critical” plans could exhaust their assets within 30 years.
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Marco Santantonio; Costanza Torricelli; Maria Cesira Urzì Brancati
    Abstract: We used nine waves of the Bank of Italy’s Survey on Household income and Wealth (1995-2012) to investigate a possible trade-off between homeownership and individual participation in a supplementary pension scheme. Italy lends itself to this type of investigation because the Italian public pension system has been heavily reformed in the period, providing in principle incentives for participation, and the homeownership rate is very high. The impact of homeownership is captured in two ways: by a dummy for being homeowner and by an index defined as the share of housing wealth over total wealth. Our results show that indeed, after controlling for a vast array of socio-economic characteristics and allowing for unobserved individual heterogeneity, both measures of homeownership are negatively associated with participation in supplementary pension schemes and that such an effect does not disappear even after the 2007 reform.
    Keywords: pension plan participation, retirement planning, housing investment
    JEL: D91 H55
    Date: 2014–09
  4. By: Volker Meinhardt
    Abstract: In the following study we examine the level of pensions dependent on the different pension systems in the private and public sector and dependent on the level of income in Germany for the year 2012. Regarding the percentage of the net wage to the net income before retirement the differences between the systems are large. This percentage varies between 39 and 71 %.
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Fu-Min Tseng (Queen Margaret University Edinburgh); Dennis Petrie (University of Melbourne); Roberto Leon-Gonzalez (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: Bereavement is a grieved and inevitable event in our life. For an aging society, the incidence of spousal bereavement and parental bereavement is higher than the other kinds of bereavement events. This study employs the difference-in-differences (DiD) strategy and the Taiwanese panel Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly (SHLSE) to evaluate the impact of losing a spouse on well-being measured by self-assessed health status, depression, and life satisfaction. The results show that spousal bereavement causes substantial depression and loss in life satisfaction. The spousal bereavement impact increases depression by 1.46 CES-D points and reduces life satisfaction by 0.71 points. The decay effect of time is not observed in this study. We also examine the demographic differences of the spousal bereavement impact and find that the gap in life satisfaction between the bereaved who received more than 9 years education and the bereaved who received 9 years or less is 1.43 points, which implies that spousal bereavement causes less impact on more educated people in terms of life satisfaction. The increase in depression for the bereaved in a larger household is smaller than that for those in a small household by 2.75 CES-D points but it is weakly significant. The self-reported health outcomes are the intermediate outcomes between spousal bereavement and societal costs such as healthcare utilisation and death. The association between self-reported health status and mortality and health utilization has been well documented by literature. Thus, our results also provide the policy insight that giving proper interventions on the onset of bereavement may cause less societal costs afterwards.
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Holger Lengfeld; Jessica Ordemann
    Abstract: The paper examines the extent to which the prestige value of a retiree's former occupation increases the likelihood that they will make a transition into volunteering after retirement. Following social production function theory, we assume that when a person retires, the prestige value attached to their former occupation fades. The fact that volunteering has the character of a collective good provides the opportunity to gain social prestige to offset the loss of occupational prestige. However, the extent of the incentive to volunteer will be distributed unequally across occupations: the higher the former occupational prestige value, the higher the perceived loss of prestige after retirement. Thus, doing a job with high prestige value increases the incentive to volunteer in retirement. This assumption is tested, using data taken from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) 1992-2013. The sample contains 1,631 workers and 589 retirees, 278 of whom transitioned into volunteering during the observation window. Based on Kaplan-Meier-Failure-Estimates and complementary log-log hazard models, findings show a positive effect of occupational prestige on the transition into volunteering. Thus, the loss of high occupational prestige can be compensated by the social prestige associated with volunteering. Formal volunteering in retirement follows, albeit to a lesser extent, the logic of the occupational social strata.
    Keywords: Social Production Function Theory, retirement, volunteering, occupations
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Daniela del Boca; Alessandra Venturini
    Abstract: Our research analyzes the effect of changes in migration policies and the accession to the European Union of former countries of emigration, considering the crucial role played by migrants in an aging society. We focus on the demand of family-care workers by using the last five years of the Italian Labour Force Survey dataset. Our results show that especially during the last years of recession, foreign labor (mostly female) has become fundamental in the family sector,favoring the participation of Italian skilled women in the labor market.
    Keywords: migration, aging, women's work
    JEL: J6 J15
    Date: 2014–09–05
  8. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Finance and Financial Sector Development - Access to Finance Banks and Banking Reform Economic Theory and Research Private Sector Development - Emerging Markets Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Markets Macroeconomics and Economic Growth
    Date: 2014–06
  9. By: Brenda Gannon (Manchester Centre for Health Economics, Institute of Population Health, University of Manchester); Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: Social capital is a rapidly expanding research theme within economics and has become a popular concept with policy makers in both developed and developing countries. Despite this growth in popularity, social capital remains a controversial concept among economists. We argue that this is largely due to a fundamental mismatch between the theoretical coverage and the vast majority of empirical work. Utilising data from a large cross-Europe survey of older people we use principal components analysis to demonstrate that social capital has multiple dimensions, and then explore the extent to which these latent dimensions coincide with the theoretical constructs of social capital. We use the association between social capital and a number of measures of health and well-being to demonstrate the importance of taking account of the multiple dimensions of social capital in empirical work. As well as showing that all the underlying constructs of social capital are significantly associated with health and well-being, our results also reveal that while in general this association is positive, close bonding in the form of household ties is inversely related to health and well-being; this contradicts the implicit assumption, often made in the literature that, in relation to social capital, more is always better.
    Keywords: social capital; health; older people; principal components analysis
    JEL: Z13 I12 J14
    Date: 2014–09
  10. By: Magdalena Muszyñska (Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics); Roland Rau Roland (Demographic Research, University of Rostock)
    Abstract: BACKGROUND The narrowing of the sex gap in life-expectancy since the mid-1970s in the United States has been explained by women’s growing involvement in previously male-dominated risky behaviours, and in particular tobacco consumption. We argue that the narrowing sex-gap could additionally have resulted from greater benefits to men than women from new medical technologies due to differential access and the fact that many medical solutions result from studies based entirely on men. METHODS We decompose the sex gap in the mean duration of life between ages 0 and 75 into four large cause of death groups according to the index of amenable mortality. FINDINGS In the studied years, with the exception of 1985-1995, the sex gap decreased due to causes amenable to public policy interventions. An important contributor to this change was increased smoking among women. The observed narrowing of the sex gap due to medically amenable causes is limited to age 0. When a new group of causes amenable to medical interventions was formed by including half of the contribution of IHD, it had a positive contribution to the narrowing sex gap, and in particular at ages 1-75 years. CONCLUSIONS We demonstrate that when the group of medically amenable causes of death includes half of the contribution of IHD, the narrowing-sex gap in life-expectancy results from the two sexes benefiting to a different degree from medical developments due to differential access or from the fact that treatments are better fitted to male physiological needs than those of women.
    Keywords: sex-gap in mortality, causes of death, medically amenable mortality, policy amenable mortality, sex differences in life expectancy, United States
    JEL: J19 I14
    Date: 2014

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