nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2016‒05‒21
23 papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Too late to get healthy? A behavioural analysis of the diet-health relationship in the older Italian population By Mazzocchi, Mario; Irz, Xavier; Modugno, Lucia; Traill, W. Bruce
  2. From Bismarck to Beveridge: the Other Pension Reform in Spain By José Ignacio Conde-Ruiz; Clara I. González
  3. L'aide à un parent âgé, seul et dépendant : déterminants structurels et interactions By Quitterie Roquebert; Roméo Fontaine; Agnès Gramain
  4. Socioeconomic Factors of Frailty By Sirje Kree
  5. Association among Socioeconomic Status, Health and Function-related Variables, and Onset of Depression in the Case of Middle-aged and Older People in Japan By SEKIZAWA Yoichi
  6. Population ageing and inflation with endogenous money creation By Igor Fedotenkov
  7. Quality of Life among Elderly in Elderly Clubs of Three Southern Border Provinces of Thailand By Paiboon Chaosuansreecharoen; Kannika Ruangdej Chaosuansreecharoen
  8. Household Saving Rates and Social Insurance Retirement Income: An International Comparison of the OECD Countries By Simin Mozayeni; Simon Li
  9. /fichier/s_rubrique/25103/pesa531.jpg The number of deaths in France will increase over the coming years By Gilles Pison; Laurent Toulemon
  10. Modelling mortality: Are we heading in the right direction? By O'Hare, Colin; Li, Youwei
  11. Medical Care within an OLG Economy with Realistic Demography By Ivan Frankovic; Michael Kuhn; Stefan Wrzaczek
  12. Retiring intentions: the role of conflicts with the boss and health status as a moderator By Martha Ottenbacher
  13. Workplace perception and job-satisfaction of older workers By Raab, Roman
  14. Time-to-death patterns in markers of age and dependency By Timothy Riffe; Pil H. Chung; Jeroen Spijker; John MacInnes
  15. Single Email Prompts Individuals to Increase Retirement Savings By Greg Chojnacki; Samia Amin; Irma Perez-Johnson; Matthew Darling; Aravind Moorthy; Jaclyn Lefkowitz
  16. A Life-Cycle Model of Trans-Atlantic Employment Experiences By Kitao, Sagiri; Ljungqvist, Lars; Sargent, Thomas J
  17. Demographics, Societal Aging, and Meat Consumption in China By Min, Shi; Bai, Junfei; Seale, James L. Jr.; Wahl, Thomas
  18. Solvência Fiscal de Longo Prazo dos Regimes Próprios de Previdência dos Estados e Municípios By Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano
  19. CBO’s 2015 Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Additional Information By Congressional Budget Office
  20. Why Do Children Take Care of Their Elderly Parents? Are the Japanese Any Different? By Charles Yuji Horioka; Emin Gahramanov; Aziz Hayat; Xueli Tang
  21. Social Security Policy Options, 2015 By Congressional Budget Office
  22. Pension Fund Board Composition and Investment Performance: Evidence from Private Equity By Xavier Aleksander Andonov; Xavier Yael V. Hochberg; Joshua D. Rauh
  23. Is the educational health gap increasing for women? Results from Catalonia(Spain) By Aïda Solé-Auró; Manuela Alcañiz

  1. By: Mazzocchi, Mario; Irz, Xavier; Modugno, Lucia; Traill, W. Bruce
    Abstract: The continuous aging of the EU population challenges the sustainability of welfare states. Part of the solution is to ensure that people not only live longer but also better (i.e., that they can function independently while remaining free of disease/disability), which may be achieved through better nutrition and adoption of healthier lifestyles. We test that proposition with a behavioural model of diet quality choice and health determination. The simultaneous equations model, which accounts for the endogeneity of lifestyle choices and is applied to a sample of older Italians, allows for bi-directional causality between diet and health. The health production function confirms that good quality diets and other healthy lifestyles (e.g., physical activity, smoking and drinking) improve self-assessed health. In turn, the elderly respond to illness by improving their diets and exercising more. Supporting healthy aging may be achieved through targeted policies aimed at promoting healthy eating and other healthy lifestyles.
    Keywords: Health, elderly, behavioural, nutrition, healthy eating, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty, I1, I12, I18, Q18,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: José Ignacio Conde-Ruiz; Clara I. González
    Abstract: Ageing is the major challenge for the PAYG pension systems in developed countries. Most of them are undergoing reforms in order to adapt to the new demographic reality. The package of reforms implemented includes increasing the retirement age, reducing the replacement rate, or introducing a sustainability factor linking pension to life expectancy. The aim of this paper is to analyse the potential consequences of a different type of reform that is at a very incipient stage in Spain but that could have a significant impact if it were fully implemented. This reform, called ‘silent reform’ because it is imperceptible to citizens in its early stages, basically consists in increasing maximum pensions in line with inflation instead of wage or productivity growth. This policy is reducing the replacement rate only for high earning workers and increasing the redistributive component of the system. This paper is the first to quantify and evaluate the potential consequences of this type of reform in Spain. We have used an accounting model with heterogeneous agents and overlapping generations in order to project pension expenditure for the next five decades. The results show that this type of reform could potentially contain future expenditure but at the cost of changing the nature of the pension system from a contributory or Bismarckian-type system into a pure redistributive pension system or Beveridgean-type one. The paper also shows that the institutional characteristics (i.e. the existence of maximum limits to pensions and contributions) that make this kind of reform possible are also present in the majority of developed countries with Bismarckian pension systems. Therefore, the lessons learned in this paper could be useful to other countries.
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Quitterie Roquebert (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); Roméo Fontaine (LEDi - Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté - Fondation Médéric Alzheimer); Agnès Gramain (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: With population ageing, the demand for home care of the disabled elderly is increasing and a large part of care is provided by informal caregivers. This paper focuses on the determinants of care provision by children to an old, single and disabled parent. We focus on two-child families and apply a semi-structural methodology, already implemented on European data (survey SHARE). It makes it possible to distinguish between two types of determinants: structural determinants (individual, parental and family characteristics) and interactions (effect of the care provision of one child on the care provision of the other). The estimation of this model on data of the French survey "Handicap Santé Ménages" (2008) highlights two distinct behaviors according to sibling rank. Indeed, if the care decisions of both children are sensitive to the characteristics of their parent, the older child reacts more on the sibling composition, whereas the younger child's decision is much more influenced by her personal characteristics. Interactions are found to be asymmetric: when the sibling provides care, the elder is more likely to be caregiver, whereas it is the reverse for the younger child. These differences are interpreted as follows: in two-child families, the older child provides care as a response of a socially-assigned role, whereas the younger child decides through a trade-off between the advantages and the opportunity costs of care provision
    Keywords: long-term care; informal care; social interactions
    JEL: J14
    Date: 2016–04
  4. By: Sirje Kree (Tartu City Government)
    Abstract: Frailty is a risk factor for morbidity and mortality in older people. About 4-17% of elderly people living at home are frail, about 3-7% of elderly in age group 65-74 years and about 32% in age group 90 years. About 33-51% of elderly people in hospital care are frail. Several studies reported association between socioeconomic factors and health status. The social factors as risk factors for the development of frailty should be assessed and taken into account when evaluating elderly person’s prevention and treatment programs. In medical context the social factors are often ignored. Social frailty can be measured through the Tilburg Indicator. There are three criteria: living alone, lack of contacts and lack of support. If someone meets at least two of these three criteria, they are taken as socially frail.EAKAS study in Estonia reported that 63% of elderly in elderly home were living alone before getting to institutional care. 23% of elderly in elderly homes feels alone. Strong and supportive relations with family are in 50% of elderly in institutional care. About 27% of elderly in institutional care would like to go back to their homes or family.Socioeconomic factors such as education, income, relations, neighbourhood and etc influence on frailty and its outcomes such as mortality and disability- Frailty persons are at higher risk of hospitalization, institutional care and mortality.
    Keywords: Frailty, elderly, health, socioecomomic status
  5. By: SEKIZAWA Yoichi
    Abstract: Although many studies show that people at low socioeconomic states (SES) are more likely to be depressed, longitudinal studies on SES and depression which take into account health and function-related variables in the case of middle-aged and older people are scarce, especially in Asian nations. By performing multivariate logistic regressions using longitudinal data from the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR), we investigate the longitudinal association between SES plus health and function-related variables at baseline and an onset of depression two years later for people over the age of 50. We find that, out of the respondents who are not depressed at baseline, respondents with the lowest education levels are more likely to develop depression two years later. This result was maintained after adjusting for total family income and total wealth, but was attenuated and not significant after adjusting for health and function-related variables. We also find that those with any disability in the instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and intellectual activities (IA) at baseline are more likely to develop depression two years later.
    Date: 2016–04
  6. By: Igor Fedotenkov (Bank of Lithuania)
    Abstract: This paper provides an explanation as to why population ageing is associated with deflationary processes. For this reason we create an overlapping-generations model (OLG) with money created by credits (inside money) and intergenerational trade. In other words, we combine a neoclassical OLG model with post-Keynesian monetary theory. The model links demographic factors such as fertility rates and longevity to prices. We show that lower fertility rates lead to smaller demand for credits, and lower money creation, which in turn causes a decline in prices. Changes in longevity affect prices through real savings and the capital market. Furthermore, a few links between interest rates and inflation are addressed; they arise in the general equilibrium and are not thoroughly discussed in literature. Long-run results are derived analytically; short-run dynamics are simulated numerically.
    Keywords: Population ageing, inflation, OLG model, inside money, credits
    JEL: E12 E31 E41 J10
    Date: 2016–02–23
  7. By: Paiboon Chaosuansreecharoen (Sirindhorn College of Public Health, Trang); Kannika Ruangdej Chaosuansreecharoen (Sirindhorn College of Public Health, Trang)
    Abstract: Aim: This study aimed to measure the quality of life (QoL) among elderly in strong elderly club of three southern border provinces and to identify its some determinant factors.Background: The insurgence of violence in three southern border provinces of Thailand that began in January 2004 is directly or indirectly affecting the lives of up to a million elderly living in Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala. The violence included bomb attacks and daily killings of state officials and local villagers. Currently, the violence has increased in complexity, frequency and severity. Thai Government is concerned with providing for sustained social welfare for the aging population. The government implemented a policy of elderly club in all sub-districts, places where older persons in the local area can gather and enjoy social activities. Thus, it is believed that the elderly club is one strategy to improve well-being among elderly living in three southern border provinces. Methods: This was cross-sectional survey of a random sample of members of strong elderly club in three southern border provinces. The constructively QoL was measured on economic, social, environmental, health, and attitudinal domain. The study participants were interviewed at their elderly clubs. Descriptive statistics were used in this study. The analytical procedure of stepwise multiple regressions were conducted to predict QoL determinant.Findings: The results revealed that elderly who were member of the strong elderly club in three southern border provinces showed high level of QoL (Economic domain = 54.4%, Social domain = 76.8%, Environmental domain = 97.6%, Health domain = 69.6%, Attitudinal domain = 94.4% and Total QoL = 86.8%). The stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that the best fit model included six predictors of frequency of elderly club participation, having money saving, social capital on social network component, life satisfaction and happiness, feeling of safety from violence and age. All six predictors could explain 59.9% of the variance of QoL. Of the six predictor variables, a stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that frequency elderly club participation was most strongly related to QoL. Age was negative associated with QoL.Implications: The result has shown that active members have higher QoL than non-active members. Thus, the community must recognize the value of nurturing the well-being of the elderly in order to maintain an active club that enhances the quality of life of the elderly in the three southern border provinces.
    Keywords: Quality of Life, Elderly Club, Three Southern Border Provinces of Thailand
    JEL: I00
  8. By: Simin Mozayeni (State University of New York at New Paltz); Simon Li (SUNY New Paltz)
    Abstract: The motivation for this research is to examine the debate about the effect of social insurance on private savings as suggested by Feldstein (1974) and Leimmer and Lesony (1982). The null hypothesis is whether expected social insurance benefits in retirement displace household private savings. We use a panel data comprised of most OECD countries (driven by data availability), incorporating 2004-2014. We also reconsider the G7 countries (Mozayeni, 2015) with the data currently available. In both cases, our dependent variable is the Household Saving Rate (HS), measured as the percentage of Disposable Income, as reported in the National Income Accounts. The dependent variables are: the Gross Replacement Rate (GRR) for retirement benefits, which had become available for 2004-2014; the Long Term Interest Rate, which is the daily average for ten year-governments’ bond rates, and two fixed-effect variables, which account for the specific effects of the countries and the years in the data. Overall, our models predicts the relationships well, with R2 =0.88 for the OECD panel and 0.94for G7. We first discuss our results for the OECD panel and then the G7. In the OECD regression, the sign for HS varies year to year and from county to country. The significant levels are high only for 11of 26 countries in the sample. With an F value of 26.94, compared to 4.052 for α=0.01, the ANOVA test strongly rejects the null hypothesis that between-groups and within-groups variations are the same. We therefore reject the null hypothesis that β1= β2 ,…, βj = 0 and accept the alternative hypothesis β≠0 for at least one value of the overall test. Our results show NO systematic dependence of household savings on retirement benefits. Our G7 regression produces an F test of 36.55, R2 = 0.94, and negative signs for all the years in the data and positive signs for the Country effect for some and negative for others--for Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and US, the signs are negative; whereas for France and Italy are positive. The Country significance levels are high only for Italy and UK. In conclusion, we reject the proposition that expected social security income in retirement displaces household savings for the OECD countries and G7 in our sample. We methodically consider any specific effect the period in our data may have on households’ saving behavior.
    Keywords: Household Savings, Private Savings Displacement, Gross Replacement Rates and Private Saving
    JEL: D69 E21 H55
  9. By: Gilles Pison (Ined); Laurent Toulemon (Ined)
    Abstract: The population of France has grown by more than half over the last 70 years and has increased in age. While the number of deaths should logically have risen, two factors explain why it has remained practically constant throughout the period: the increase in life expectancy, and the entry into extreme old age of the depleted cohorts born during the First World War. Their disappearance and the ageing of the large baby boom cohorts will push up the number of deaths in the coming years.
    Date: 2016
  10. By: O'Hare, Colin; Li, Youwei
    Abstract: Predicting life expectancy has become of upmost importance in society. Pension providers, insurance companies, government bodies and individuals in the developed world have a vested interest in understanding how long people will live for. This desire to better understand life expectancy has resulted in an explosion of stochastic mortality models many of which identify linear trends in mortality rates by time. In making use of such models for forecasting purposes we rely on the assumption that the direction of the linear trend (determined from the data used for fitting purposes) will not change in the future, recent literature has started to question this assumption. In this paper we carry out a comprehensive investigation of these types of models using male and female data from 30 countries and using the theory of structural breaks to identify changes in the extracted trends by time. We find that structural breaks are present in a substantial number of cases, that they are more prevalent in male data than in female data, that the introduction of additional period factors into the model reduces their presence, and that allowing for changes in the trend improves the fit and forecast substantially.
    Keywords: Mortality; stochastic models; structural breaks; forecasting
    JEL: C51 C52 C53 G22 G23 J11
    Date: 2016–05–16
  11. By: Ivan Frankovic; Michael Kuhn; Stefan Wrzaczek
    Abstract: We study the role of health care within a continuous time economy of overlapping generations subject to endogenous mortality. The economy consists of two sectors: final goods production and a health care sector, selling medical services to individuals. Individuals demand health care with a view to lowering mortality over their life-cycle. We derive the age-specific individual demand for health care based on the value of life as well as the resulting aggregate demand for health care across the population. We then characterize the general equilibrium allocation of this economy, providing both an analytical and a numerical representation. We study the allocational impact of a medical innovation both in the presence and absence of anticipation; and a temporary baby boom. We place particular emphasis on disentangling general equilibrium from partial equilibrium impacts and identifying the relevant transmission channels.
    Keywords: Couple employment, European Social Survey, labour supply, preferences, economic crisis
    Date: 2016–03
  12. By: Martha Ottenbacher
    Abstract: This paper considers an employee's retirement intentions and its influencing factors. The role of conflicts that an employee experiences with his/her boss and the role of his/her health status are analyzed using Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data. Estimation results show that conflicts matter as well as an individual's health status when considering the probability of retirement. Having conflict with the boss rises the probability of retiring intentions significantly, even after accounting for a wide set of controls. Employees in good health have fewer intentions to retire. Split into subgroups, there appears to be a slight but notable moderating role of health status: Among healthy employees conflict with the boss raises retirement intentions even more. This suggests that healthy people (compared to unhealthy people) may well be able to continue working but not necessarily do so because social factors - namely conflict with the boss - become more important.
    Keywords: conflicts with the boss, retirement intentions, health status
    JEL: J26 J29 I12 M54
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Raab, Roman
    Abstract: This paper addresses the question to what extent workplace perception affects subjective well-being of older workers in their jobs. We use several dimensions of workplace perception in order to estimate their importance for job-satisfaction. Our results show that older workers' happiness in the job strongly depends on opportunities to develop new skills, receiving support in difficult situations, and recognition for their work. These dimensions of workplace attributes are merely psychological by nature; in contrast, salary opportunities and socio-demographic dimensions do not appear to have a strong impact on job-satisfaction, if at all.
    Keywords: Working Conditions - Job-satisfaction; Related Public Policy - Non-wage Labor Costs and Benefits
    JEL: J28 J32 J81
    Date: 2016
  14. By: Timothy Riffe (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Pil H. Chung; Jeroen Spijker; John MacInnes
    Abstract: We aim to determine the extent to which variables commonly used to describe health, wellbeing, and disability in old-age vary primarily as a function of years lived (chronological age), years left (thanatological age), or as a function of both. We analyze data from the US Health and Retirement Study to estimate chronological age and time-to-death patterns in 78 such variables. We describe results from the birth cohort born 1915-1919 in the final 12 years of life. Our results show that most markers used to study well-being in old-age vary along both the age and time-to-death dimensions, but some markers are exclusively a function of either time to death or chronological age, and others display different patterns between the sexes.
    Keywords: USA, age, demographic accounting, disability, methodology, morbidity, mortality
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2015–07
  15. By: Greg Chojnacki; Samia Amin; Irma Perez-Johnson; Matthew Darling; Aravind Moorthy; Jaclyn Lefkowitz
    Abstract: This brief presents initial findings on the effects of an email designed to encourage U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) employees to increase their contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)—a plan similar to 401(k) plans in the private sector—and take full advantage of the available employer match.
    Keywords: behavioral economics, behavioral science, Department of Labor, Chief Evaluation Officer, human resources, Employee Benefits Security Administration, thrift savings plan, retirement savings, 401(k), retirement plan, nudges, participation nudges, investment; program participation, administrative experiment, rapid-cycle evaluation
    JEL: J
  16. By: Kitao, Sagiri; Ljungqvist, Lars; Sargent, Thomas J
    Abstract: To understand trans-Atlantic employment experiences since World War II, we build an overlapping generations model with two types of workers (high school and college graduates) whose different skill acquisition technologies affect their career decisions. Search frictions affect short-run employment outcomes. The model focuses on labor supply responses near beginnings and ends of lives and on whether unemployment and early retirements are financed by personal savings or public benefit programs. Higher minimum wages in Europe explain why youth unemployment has risen more there than in the U.S. Turbulence, in the form of higher risks of human capital depreciation after involuntary job destructions, causes long-term unemployment in Europe, mostly among older workers, but leaves U.S. unemployment unaffected. The losses of skill interact with workers' subsequent decisions to invest in human capital in ways that generate the age-dependent increases in autocovariances of income shocks observed by Moffitt and Gottschalk (1995).
    Keywords: benefits; employment protection; Europe; minimum wage; U.S.; Unemployment
    JEL: E24 J21 J64
    Date: 2016–05
  17. By: Min, Shi; Bai, Junfei; Seale, James L. Jr.; Wahl, Thomas
    Abstract: Drawn on the data collected by surveying 1,340 urban households from 6 cities in China, this paper estimates the impacts of demographic structure and population aging on household meat consumption, by jointly considering meat consumed at-home and away-from-home. Based on the trajectories of population, a simple simulation on meat demand trend in China is conducted subsequently. The results suggest: 1) Meat consumed away-from-home averagely accounts for near 30% of household total meat consumption in terms of quantity, so that its omission likely leads to a significant underestimate of total meat consumption and misunderstanding the driving forces; 2) Population aging significantly and negatively affects per capita meat consumption, suggesting that the expected meat demand in China without considering population aging will be overestimated. The findings from this study have important implications for better understanding the relative issues on China’s meat consumption under the situation of population aging.
    Keywords: Food away from home, Meat consumption, Aging, China, International Development, Public Economics,
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano
    Abstract: Este texto realiza um diagnóstico sobre a sustentabilidade de longo prazo dos regimes próprios de previdência social (RPPS) de estados e municípios. Inicialmente, descrevem-se as regras que se aplicam à previdência funcional referentes às condições de acesso, fórmula de cálculo, mecanismos de indexação, alíquotas de contribuição e forma de financiamento. Também se realiza comparativo do RPPS brasileiro com o do resto do mundo e se apresenta o deficit atuarial dos estados. Por fim, simulam-se reformas com o intuito de reduzir o custo fiscal dos RPPS. Conclui-se que mesmo alterações ambiciosas de alto custo político não logram eliminar o deficit, mas tornam sua trajetória mais gerenciável. This article diagnosis the long run sustainability of the pension scheme for public employees (RPPS) in Brazilian subnational governments. The paper describes the rules applied to RPPS related to eligibility criteria, benefit formula, pension indexation, contribution rates and funding. The paper compares Brazilian RPPS against international standards and presents the actuarial deficits of states. Finally, it estimates fiscal impacts of different reforms. One can conclude that even ambitious reforms with high political cost are not able to eliminate the deficit, but they make its path more manageable.
    Date: 2016–05
  19. By: Congressional Budget Office
    Abstract: Under current law, CBO projects, Social Security’s trust funds, considered together, will be exhausted in 2029. In that case, benefits in 2030 would need to be reduced by 29 percent from the scheduled amounts.
    JEL: H55 H60 H68 J26
    Date: 2015–12–16
  20. By: Charles Yuji Horioka; Emin Gahramanov; Aziz Hayat; Xueli Tang
    Abstract: In this paper, we conduct a theoretical analysis of why individuals provide care and attention to their elderly parents using a two-period overlapping generations model with endogenous saving and a “contest success function” and test this model using micro data from a Japanese household survey, the Osaka University Preference Parameter Study. To summarize our main findings, we find that the Japanese are more likely to live with (or near) their elderly parents and/or to provide care and attention to them if they expect to receive a bequest from them, which constitutes strong support for the selfish bequest motive or the exchange motive (much stronger than in the United States), but we find that their caregiving behavior is also heavily influenced by the strength of their altruism toward their parents and social norms.
    Date: 2016–05
  21. By: Congressional Budget Office
    Abstract: CBO analyzes 36 policy options commonly proposed by policymakers and analysts. Most of them would improve Social Security’s long-term finances, but only a few would significantly postpone the combined trust funds’ exhaustion date.
    JEL: H55 H60 H68 J26
    Date: 2015–12–15
  22. By: Xavier Aleksander Andonov; Xavier Yael V. Hochberg; Joshua D. Rauh
    Abstract: We examine the governance of public pension funds and its relationship to investment performance. Pension fund board composition – most often set by statute many decades earlier – is strongly related to the performance of private equity investments made by the fund. Funds whose boards have high fractions of members who either sit on the board by virtue of their position in state government (ex officio) or were appointed by a state official underperform the most, followed by funds whose boards have a high fraction of members elected by participants. This underperformance is related both to investment category allocation and to selection of managers within category. Funds with worse-performing governance structures invest more in real estate and funds of funds, explaining 20-30% of the performance differential. Poorly governed pension funds also choose poorly within investment categories, overweighting investments in small funds, in-state funds, and in inexperienced GPs with few other investors. Lack of financial experience contributes to poor performance by boards with high fractions of participant elected board members, but does not explain the underperformance of boards heavily populated by state officials. Political contributions from the finance industry to state officials on pension fund boards are strongly and negatively related to performance, but do not fully explain the performance differential.
    JEL: G11 G23 H75 D83
    Date: 2016–03
  23. By: Aïda Solé-Auró (Department of Political and Social Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University); Manuela Alcañiz (Department of Econometrics, Riskcenter-IREA, Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Background. Health expectancies vary worldwide according to socioeconomic status (SES). The lower SES usually show health disadvantage and the higher SES a health advantage compared to the average. The educational level of individuals is strongly linked to their SES. Objective. We propose to identify the evolution of SES differentials in health by gender, paying special attention to the trends for the least advantaged - low educated females. We focus on the adult Catalan population (Spain) aged 55 or older. Methods. We measured SES through education. We used individual cross-sectional data obtained in 1994 and in 2012 from the Catalan Health Survey. We examined three comprehensive health indicators to disentangle the health and disability statuses in order to document social differences in health. We applied logistic models for each indicator, controlling for socio demographic characteristics, health coverage and lifestyle. Results. Low educated males and females experienced an increase in the prevalence of functional and ADL limitations. We found an increment in the likelihood of bad health and functional limitations for the low educated between 1994 and 2012. The prevalences of smoking increased for low and middle educated females, whereas low educated males suffered a 4.1% increment of sedentarism. Having smoked in the past and leading a sedentary lifestyle increased the likelihood of bad and functional limitations. In general, double health coverage reduced the effect on reporting more health problems. Our predicted probabilities show that low educated women were more likely to self-perceive their health as bad and report functional limitations than any other group in both periods. Conclusions. Lower educated females are the most disfavored group in terms of health and personal autonomy. The gender gap between low educated men and women has reduced for self-perceiving bad health and for functional limitations between 1994 and 2012. Adopting a healthy lifestyle promotes well-being and personal autonomy. Health policies should continue to take into account that the population with lower SES is more likely to suffer from poor health and disability as they age, being the females a particularly fragile group.
    Keywords: gender inequalities, socioeconomic disparities, health indicators, educational level, Catalonia.
    Date: 2015–05

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