nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2015‒02‒05
sixteen papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Pappa Ante Portas: The Retired Husband Syndrome in Japan By Marco Bertoni; Giorgio Brunello
  2. Non-financial determinants of the retirement age By Vermeer, C.A.F.
  3. Effects of Changes in Pensions on the Age of First Benefit Receipt: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Repatriated Ethnic Germans By Puhani, Patrick A.; Tabbert, Falko
  4. Seriously Strengthening the Tax-Benefit Link By Portugal, Pedro; Raposo, Pedro
  5. Demographic changes in Poland – the regional dimension By Anita Richert-Kazmierska
  6. Disabled people’s financial histories: uncovering the disability wealth-penalty By Abigail McKnight
  7. Cigarette Taxes and Older Adult Smoking: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study By Johanna Catherine Maclean; Asia Sikora Kessler; Donald S. Kenkel
  8. Skill biased labour demand and the wage growth of younger workers: Evidence from an unexpected pension reform By Alexander M. Danzer
  9. Report on case studies of the technology-based services for independent living for older people By Stephanie Carretero; Csaba Kucsera
  10. Responses of Time-use to Shocks in Wealth during the Great Recession By Jim Been; Michael Hurd; Susann Rohwedder
  11. Why City Pension Problems Have Not Improved, and a Roadmap Forward By Joshua D. Rauh
  12. Comparative-historical Analysis of Aging Policy Reforms in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico By Esteban Calvo
  13. Title: Strategic Intelligence Monitor on Personal Health Systems Phase 3 (SIMPHS 3) – NEXES (Spain) Case Study Report By Francisco Lupiañez-Villanueva; Alexandra Theben
  14. Scenarios of dementia care: what are the impacts on cost and quality of life? By Martin Knapp; Adelina Comas-Herrera; Raphael Wittenberg; Bo Hu; Derek King; Amritpal Rehill; Bayo Adelaja
  15. Coordination of Social Security Schemes By Ockert Dupper
  16. Education, Gender, and State-Level Gradients in the Health of Older Indians: Evidence from Biomarker Data By Jinkook Lee; McGovern, Mark E.; David E. Bloom; P. Arokiasamy; Arun Risbud; Jennifer O?Brien; Varsha Kale; Peifeng Hu

  1. By: Marco Bertoni (University of Padova); Giorgio Brunello (University of Padova)
    Abstract: The "Retired Husband Syndrome", that affects the mental health of wives of retired men around the world, has been anecdotally documented but never formally investigated. We use Japanese micro data and the exogenous variation generated by the 2006 revision of the Japanese Elderly Employment Stabilization Law, which mandated employers to guarantee continuous employment between mandatory retirement age and full pension eligibility age, to estimate the causal effect of the husbandÕs retirement on the wifeÕs mental health. We find that adding one year to the time spent in retirement by Japanese husbands increases the probability that their wives develop the syndrome by 5.8 to 13.7 percentage points, depending on the empirical specification. We discuss mechanisms at work and argue that Ð ceteris paribus Ð increasing female labour force participation might exacerbate rather than attenuate the phenomenon.
    Keywords: retirement, pension reforms, couples, stress, depression, Japan.
    JEL: D1 I1 I3 J14 J26
    Date: 2014–07
  2. By: Vermeer, C.A.F. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This dissertation examines the importance of non-financial determinants for the individual retirement age. Recent increases in statutory retirement ages around the world point to the relevance of this issue. Financial incentives alone cannot fully explain observed retirement behavior.<br/><br/>Chapter 2 examines the possible relevance of insights from behavioral economics and social norms for retirement and concludes that defaults, reference points and social norms are likely explanations for observed retirement behavior. Chapter 3 looks more closely at the role of social interactions. The likelihood and the importance of retirement advice play a role in the retirement decision. Respondents also indicate to postpone retirement when their social environment retires later. Chapter 4 focuses on the presence of standard pension ages in pension overviews. Individuals tend to retire later when the standard pension age is higher. Chapter 5 investigates the relevance of demanding occupations for aspects of the retirement scheme. People are of the opinion that individuals with demanding occupations should be able to retire earlier and that they are willing to contribute to the pension scheme to make this possible.
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Puhani, Patrick A. (Leibniz University of Hannover); Tabbert, Falko (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: To estimate the effects of large cuts in pensions on the age of first benefit receipt, we exploit two natural experiments in which such cuts affect a group of repatriated ethnic German workers. The pensions were cut by about 12%, yet, according to our regression discontinuity estimates based on administrative pension data, there was no significant delay in the age of first pension receipt. Based on additional data sources, we find (i) that almost all pension recipients of our study population had left the labor force and (ii) that repatriated ethnic Germans hold similar jobs and exhibit similar retirement behavior as low-skilled Germans. The results are consistent with low-skilled workers in Germany being frozen in a corner-solution equilibrium in which the optimal choice is to retire as early as possible.
    Keywords: policy, evaluation, pension reform, labor supply, retirement
    JEL: J26 H55
    Date: 2015–01
  4. By: Portugal, Pedro (Banco de Portugal); Raposo, Pedro (Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Lisbon)
    Abstract: On January 1st 1994 Portugal introduced, for the first time, inflation indexation in the old-age pension formula. This change considerably decreased the uncertainty regarding the perception of the link between the stream of labor earnings and future pensions. The effect of indexation was large and, by itself, increased the expected pension amount by 28% in real terms. Individuals appear to have reacted to the policy change: labor earnings increase significantly during the eligible years approaching retirement age.
    Keywords: pension policy reform, hours, earnings, tax-benefit link
    JEL: J14 J26 J31
    Date: 2015–01
  5. By: Anita Richert-Kazmierska (Gdansk University of Technology)
    Abstract: The progressive ageing process concerns both Poland and the other Member States of the European Union. In recent years, the share of workers of non-mobile and post-productive age in the total population has been rising, and according to forecasts, in 2035 people aged 45 years and over will represent two-thirds of our society. Since the year 2012, announced the Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations by the European Commission, more and more attention has been paid in the Polish public space to the issues of an ageing society, including its impact on the health of the economy. The article notes that the ageing process does not occur uniformly across all Polish regions, i.e. at the same pace and with the same intensity. The results of studies indicating the regions being most vulnerable to the ageing of the regional community and the negative consequences of this process in the next two decades are presented.
    Keywords: demographic changes, population ageing, regional diversity of ageing
    JEL: J11 J14 R11
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Abigail McKnight
    Abstract: It is well established that on average disabled people and the households in which they live face greater financial disadvantage in terms of income than their counterparts. What is less well understood is how they fare in terms of their wealth status. In this paper we use data from two large scale social surveys to examine the relationship between disability status and household wealth holdings. We find that overall disabled people have substantially lower household wealth and all components of wealth (property, financial, pension, physical) than non-disabled people but even these average differences mask important lifecycle patterns. The incidence of disability increases with age and the effect of this is that disabled people are on average older than non-disabled people. As wealth accumulation also increases with age up to retirement the effect is that average differences understate the true disability wealth-penalty. People who experience disability later in life have been in a stronger position to accumulate assets over their working lives than people who experience disability over the crucial wealth-accumulation stage (35-64 years) of the lifecycle. The full extent of the disability wealth-penalty can only be observed by looking at age or lifecycle profiles. We find evidence of cumulative disadvantage related to disability longevity and cumulative advantage to remaining disability free. Part of the disability wealth-penalty can be accounted for by lower average levels of education among disabled people and by their lower position in the socio-economic classification (NS-SEC) reflecting lower profiles of lifetime earnings and household income. The evidence points to a situation where disabled people have been unable to save and accumulate assets to anything like the extent of their non-disabled peers most likely through lower long term income and extra costs associated with disability. This puts them at a disadvantage in terms of being able to draw on an asset in times of need when expenditure needs exceed current levels of income, lower pension wealth on entering retirement and less likely to be in a position to benefit from the ‘asset-effect’ and more generally is a matter of concern in terms of equality and social mobility.
    Keywords: wealth; disability; inequality; lifecycle
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2014–04
  7. By: Johanna Catherine Maclean (Department of Economics, Temple University); Asia Sikora Kessler (Department of Health Promotion, Social and Economic Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center); Donald S. Kenkel (Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University)
    Abstract: In this study we use the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to test whether older adult smokers, defined as those 50 years and older, respond to cigarette tax increases. Our preferred specifications show that older adult smokers respond modestly to tax increases: a $1.00 (131.6%) tax increase leads to a 3.8% to 5.2% reduction in cigarettes smoked per day (implied tax elasticity = -0.03 to -0.04). We identify heterogeneity in tax-elasticity across demographic groups as defined by sex, race/ethnicity, education, and marital status, and by smoking intensity and level of addictive stock. These findings have implications for public health policy implementation in an aging population.
    Keywords: smoking, cigarette taxes, older adults
    JEL: I1 J14
    Date: 2015–01
  8. By: Alexander M. Danzer
    Abstract: Large-scale pension reforms can have redistributive wage effects across generations and education groups when the labour market suffers from skill mismatch. A quasi-experimental ‘retirement shock’ in Ukraine illustrates the effect of labour scarcity on wage growth and returns to education: it reveals that young and well educated workers enjoyed significant wage growth accelerations while older workers with outdated skills did not benefit from the retirement of their comparable peers. The estimated wage effects are in line with predictions from a simple heterogeneous labour demand model applied to a cross-section of Ukrainian firms. The paper illustrates that general equilibrium wage effects can be estimated in a policy evaluation framework if quasi-experiments fulfil very restrictive preconditions.
    Keywords: Pension increase, wage growth, labour substitution, returns to education, skill-mismatch, Ukraine, quasi-experiment
    JEL: J2 J31 J14 P23
    Date: 2015–01
  9. By: Stephanie Carretero (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Csaba Kucsera (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This report elaborates five case studies of good practices of technology-enabled services for independent living of older adults at home from the 14 obtained in the deliverable 1 of the ICT-AGE project. The aim is to obtain policy lessons studying a group of variables related with the creation and implementation of these services by public long-term care systems, such as business case and models, training actions, scaling and market creation, evaluation process and organisation change, among others. A case study is provided per each good practice on the basis of the variables analysed.
    Keywords: long-term care, social investment, social return, information and communication technologies, active and healthy ageing, quality of care, productivity, carers, financial sustainability, care, savings, ageing in place, social innovation
    JEL: I00 I18
    Date: 2014–12
  10. By: Jim Been (Leiden University and NETSPAR); Michael Hurd (RAND, NBER, MEA and NETSPAR); Susann Rohwedder (RAND and NETSPAR)
    Abstract: Shocks to income and wealth decrease the household’s monetary budget available. As a consequence, households respond by decreasing consumption spending. Income shocks, such as unexpected unemployment and retirement, also increase the time-budget available in addition to decreasing the monetary budget available. Some research has suggested that the additional time available enables households to substitute home production for purchased goods and services, effectively increasing their well-being beyond what a measure of spending would indicate. We aim to expand on this research by using data on time-use with data on categories of spending, which has the potential to be much more informative than data on time-use alone: the combination can show substitutions or complements of time for spending. We use wealth shocks in house values induced by the Great Recession to show the extent to which households adjusted home production in response to those wealth shocks. We found some adjustment in the population age 65 or older, but none in the population age 51-64. This implies that younger households experiencing a wealth shock only find very little opportunity, if any, to buffer the welfare losses resulting from reductions in spending on market-purchased goods by increases in home production. Older households were able to compensate modestly.
    Date: 2014–10
  11. By: Joshua D. Rauh (Stanford University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of city-level pension liabilities over the period 2009-2013 for ten large U.S. municipalities: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Baltimore, Boston, and Atlanta. Despite increases in public equity valuations of around 75 percent over this time period and public attention called to pension reform, the difference between liabilities under governmental accounting measures and the market value of assets fell by an average of less than 2%. Implementing a market value of liability (MVL) approach that values liabilities using bond yields rather than expected returns on assets, unfunded liabilities rose in all ten cities, and the total rose by 40%, from $277 billion to $359 billion. I provide a roadmap of policy options to address city-level pension imbalances in light of the fact that pension liabilities have continued to grow despite an environment of very robust returns on pension fund assets.
    Date: 2015–01
  12. By: Esteban Calvo (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales)
    Abstract: This study reviews developments in national aging policies in four Latin American countries: Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Using case studies and a comparative-historical analysis, we focus on social policy reforms aiming to promote the well-being of older adults. We aim to determine whether a common profile of characteristics making up a particular aging policy could be identified across countries, and whether systematic differences between national aging policies could be uncovered. We find that similarities outweight differences. Although the timing and magnitude of the changes differ, historical trends are largely similar in substance: The initial charity-based approach to poverty and illness has been gradually replaced by a rights-based approach to broader notions of well-being, which have been formally promoted by newly created national aging offices. Current reforms are at different levels of development and emphasize diverse themes, but they advance in largely similar directions across the countries analyzed: Heavily influenced by the 2002 Madrid Plan, current reforms emphasize the need of intersectoral policies of national scope, with active participants of older adults, including specific efforts to train specialized professional on aging, and implementing the first steps toward building evidence-based policy. Results from this project have implications for understanding aging policy in Latin America and informing the reforms currently being implemented in developing countries worldwide.
    Date: 2014–12
  13. By: Francisco Lupiañez-Villanueva (Open Evidence, Barcelona, Spain); Alexandra Theben (Open Evidence, Barcelona, Spain Author-Workplace-Homepage 1:
    Abstract: The NEXES case, based on a project co-funded by the ICT Policy Support Programme Area (CIP-ICT-PSP-2007.2.2 – ICT for ageing well), aims to deploy “integrated care services for chronic patients based on structured interventions addressing not only prevention, but also healthcare and social support”. NEXES is currently in the transitional phase from existing pilot experiences to extended deployment of health/social services for elderly populations. It can supplement existing institutional approaches or offer an alternative to them. The services are grouped in four programmes that represent a broad spectrum of health problems, from those affecting citizens at risk or in the early stages of a disease to those that affect patients with advanced chronic disorders. The programmes comprise the following: (1) Wellness advice and rehabilitation for in clinically stable chronic patients to promote healthy life-styles, enhancing their self- management and improving adherence to prescribed treatments; (2) Enhanced care for frail patients, which aims to assess prevention for frail patients at high risk of hospitalisation; (3) Home hospitalisation (HH) and early discharge, which aims to explore the potential for generalisation of HH and the analysis of the interplay with other Integrated Care Services (ICS) for chronic patients; and (4) Remote support to primary care for diagnosis and therapy (Support), transferring specialised diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to primary care.
    Keywords: SIMPHS, eHealth, Remote Monitoring, ageing, integrated care, independent living, case studies, facilitators, governance, impact, drivers, barriers, integration, organisation
    JEL: I11 I18 O33 O38
    Date: 2014–12
  14. By: Martin Knapp; Adelina Comas-Herrera; Raphael Wittenberg; Bo Hu; Derek King; Amritpal Rehill; Bayo Adelaja
    Abstract: As the world population continues to age, so will the number of people with dementia continue to rise rapidly. This growing prevalence poses many challenges, including the economic challenge of how societies can ensure that treatment, care and support are provided at an affordable cost, whilst ensuring good quality of life for people with dementia and their families. The aim of this research is to examine the economic consequences of different ways to respond to this challenge.
    JEL: E6
    Date: 2014–06
  15. By: Ockert Dupper
    Abstract: This paper will explore whether and to what extent the (legal) rules of coordination that originated and developed in the EU can be transposed to SADC – a region characterized by high levels of migration, weakly developed social security systems and the absence of suitable portability arrangements. The principle of coordination of social security is primarily aimed at eliminating restrictions that national social security schemes place upon the rights of migrant workers to such social security. One of the fundamental principles of social security coordination is that of portability, which is the ability to preserve, maintain, and transfer vested social security rights or rights in the process of being vested, independent of nationality and country of residence. The best practice around the world to ensure portability of social security entitlements consists of multilateral and bilateral social security agreements. These agreements originated and developed in the EU, and EU coordination arrangements arguably still represent the most sophisticated and developed system of its kind, and one that is worth emulating. In this paper, it is argued that any future attempts at coordinating social security schemes in SADC should start with employment injury schemes, which is the only social security scheme common to all SADC member states. The paper considers some of the issues that should be taken into account in designing social security agreements in SADC along the lines of the EU model.
    Keywords: social policy; regulations; social regulation; immigration policy
    Date: 2014–05–07
  16. By: Jinkook Lee; McGovern, Mark E.; David E. Bloom; P. Arokiasamy; Arun Risbud; Jennifer O?Brien; Varsha Kale; Peifeng Hu
    Abstract: This paper examines health disparities in biomarkers among a representative sample of Indians aged 45 and older, using data from the pilot round of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI). Hemoglobin level, a marker for anemia, is lower for respondents with no schooling (0.7 g/dL less in the adjusted model) compared to those with some formal education. The oldest old have higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) (1.1 mg/L greater than those aged 45-54), an indicator of inflammation and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as do those with greater body-mass index (an additional 1.7 mg/L for those who are obese compared to those who are underweight). We find no evidence of educational or gender differences in CRP, but respondents living in rural areas have CRP levels that are 0.8 mg/L lower than urban areas. We also find state-level disparities, with Kerala residents exhibiting the lowest CRP levels (1.96 mg/L compared to 3.28 mg/L in Rajasthan). There are substantial state and education gradients in underweight and overweight. We use the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition approach to explain group-level differences, and find that state-level gradients in CRP are mainly due to heterogeneity in the association of the observed characteristics of respondents with CRP, as opposed to differences in the distribution of endowments across the sampled state populations.
    Date: 2015–01

This nep-age issue is ©2015 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.