nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2017‒04‒16
fifteen papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. The Impact of Social Pensions on Intergenerational Relationships: Comparative Evidence from China By Chen, Xi; Eggleston, Karen; Ang, Sun
  2. Wellbeing of the Elderly in East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan By ICHIMURA Hidehiko; Xiaoyan LEI; Chulhee LEE; Jinkook LEE; Albert PARK; SAWADA Yasuyuki
  3. Can formal home care reduce the burden of informal care for elderly dependents? Evidence from France. By Louis Arnault; Andreas Goltz
  4. What Matters for Life Satisfaction among the Oldest-Old? Evidence from China By Ng, Sor Tho; Tey, Nai Peng; Asadullah, Niaz
  5. Pension Reform Options in Chile; Some Tradeoffs By Marika Santoro
  6. Health effects of retirement. Evidence from Norwegian survey and register data By Grøtting, Maja Weemes; Lillebø, Otto Sevaldson
  7. X-efficiency and economies of scale in pension fund administration and investment By Gosse Alserda; Jaap Bikker; Fieke van der Lecq
  8. Aging, depression, and non-communicable diseases in South Africa By Manoj K Pandey, Vani S Kulkarni & Raghav Gaiha
  9. Rising Inequality in Life Expectancy by Socioeconomic Status By Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher; Anthony Webb; Candace M. Cosgrove; Natalia S. Orlova
  10. Informal, Formal, or Both? Assessing the Drivers of Home Care Utilisation in Austria Using a Simultaneous Decision Framework By Matthias Firgo; Klaus Nowotny; Alexander Braun
  11. Productivity based selection to retirement: Evidence from EU-SILC By Maciej Lis
  12. Strategic Workforce Planning and sales force : a demographic approach to productivity By Marie Doumic; Mathieu Mezache; Benoît Perthame; Edouard Ribes; Delphine Salort
  13. Bigger CPP, Bigger Risks: What “Fully Funded” Expansion Means and Doesn’t Mean By William B.P. Robson; Alexandre Laurin
  14. A Primer on Government-Sponsored Pension Schemes in the National Accounts and their Impact on the Interpretation of Government Debt Statistics By Paul Goebel
  15. Welfare: Savings not Taxation By Douglas, Roger; MacCulloch, Robert

  1. By: Chen, Xi; Eggleston, Karen; Ang, Sun
    Abstract: China launched a new rural pension scheme (hereafter NRPS) for rural residents in 2009, now covering almost all counties with over 400 million people enrolled. This implementation of the largest social pension program in the world offers a unique setting for studying the economics of intergenerational relationships during development, given the rapidity of China’s population aging, traditions of filial piety and co-residence, decreasing number of children, and dearth of formal social security, at a relatively low income level. We draw on rich household surveys from two provinces at distinct development stages – impoverished Guizhou and relatively well-off Shandong – to better understand heterogeneity in the impact of pension benefits. Employing a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, we find that around the pension eligibility age cut-off, the NRPS significantly reduces intergenerational co-residence, especially between elderly parents and their adults sons; promotes pensioners’ healthcare service consumption; and weakens (but does not supplant) non-pecuniary and pecuniary transfers across three generations. These effects are much larger in less developed Guizhou province.
    Keywords: Social pensions,intergenerational relationships,regional comparisons,co-residence,old-age care,service consumption,transfers
    Date: 2017
  2. By: ICHIMURA Hidehiko; Xiaoyan LEI; Chulhee LEE; Jinkook LEE; Albert PARK; SAWADA Yasuyuki
    Abstract: East Asia is undergoing a rapid demographic transition and "super" aging. As a result of steadily decreasing fertility and increasing life expectancy, the elderly proportion of the population and the old-age dependency ratio are rising across all countries in East Asia, particularly China, Republic of Korea, and Japan. In this paper, we empirically investigate the wellbeing of the elderly in these three countries, using comparable micro-level data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), the Korean Longitudinal Study on Aging (KLoSA), and the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR). Specifically, we examine the depressive symptom scale as a measure of wellbeing and estimate the impact of four broad categories: demographic, economic, family-social, and health. The decomposition and simulation analysis reveals that although much of the difference in mean depression rates among countries can be explained in differences in the characteristics of the elderly in the three countries, there remain significant differences across countries that cannot be explained. In particular, even after accounting for a multitude of factors, the elderly in Korea are more likely to be depressed than in China or Japan.
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Louis Arnault (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); Andreas Goltz (Autres - AUTRE)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the trade-off between formal and informal care for elderly dependents living at home in France. Using the French 2008 household Disability - Healthcare data and a newly built indicator of formal home-care prices in each French Council District, we wonder if fi nancial incentives to use more formal home care could relieve informal caregivers. We estimate a bivariate Tobit model to account for both the censor and the endogeneity of our formal home-care variable. Our results con firm that the volume of informal care provided would decrease if the elderly dependents were faced with lower formal home-care prices. Moreover, informal caregivers are shown to be much more sensitive to public subsidizes for skilled formal home care than for the low-skilled one. Subsidizing for skilled formal home care would make informal caregivers more effcient to perform lighter low-skilled tasks. Eventually, acting on formal home care prices could help French public administrators sustain the well-being of both care receivers and informal caregivers.
    Keywords: Long-term Care,Informal Care,Formal Care,Elderly
    Date: 2017–02–06
  4. By: Ng, Sor Tho (University of Malaya); Tey, Nai Peng (University of Malaya); Asadullah, Niaz (University of Malaya)
    Abstract: This study investigates the determinants of life satisfaction among the oldest-old (i.e. individuals aged 80 or over) in China. We use the 2011/2012 Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey data (n = 6530) for this paper. Logistic regression is used to analyse the effects of socio-demographic, economic, health, instrumental activities of daily living, family and community factors on life satisfaction and depression among the oldest-old in China. Our analysis confirms the significance of many factors affecting life satisfaction among the oldest-old in China. Factors that are correlated with life satisfaction include respondent's sex, education, place of residence, self-rated health status, cognitive ability (using mini mental state examination), regular physical examination, perceived relative economic status, access to social security provisions, commercialized insurances, living arrangements, and number of social services available in the community (p
    Keywords: ageing, depression, happiness, health, inequality, well-being, China
    JEL: O12 I30 I31
    Date: 2017–03
  5. By: Marika Santoro
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the macroeconomic impact of pension reform options in Chile, using a dynamic general equilibrium model. The main reform proposal considers raising contributions (employer side) and vehicle additional proceeds to individual accounts and to increase the support of solidarity pensions. We model increased contributions as a labor tax. We find the impact of this reform on GDP to be negative in the near to the medium run, with GDP declining by 0.5 percent by 2021, as a result of labor tax distortions which lead to a fall in labor supply, investment and to a loss in competitiveness. We also illustrate the main macroeconomics tradeoffs by analyzing alternative reforms, such as using revenues only to improve future pensions or a reform package funded by a mix of higher contributions and indirect taxes.
    Date: 2017–03–13
  6. By: Grøtting, Maja Weemes (NOVA Norwegian Social Research); Lillebø, Otto Sevaldson (Department of Economics, University of Bergen)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between retirement and health, using comprehensive measures from survey- and register data with detailed information on socioeconomic status. Using regression discontinuity at the statutory retirement age of 67, we study health in terms of depression, physical health and acute hospital admissions, with the latter observed for the entire Norwegian population. Our findings suggest that retirement leads to better physical health outcomes for individuals with low socioeconomic status, both for subjective- and objective outcomes, and to increased symptoms of depression for individuals with high socioeconomic status. Our findings highlight the importance of heterogeneity in the health effects.
    Keywords: Retirement; Health; Socioeconomic Status; Gender; Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: I12 I14 I18 I38 J26
    Date: 2017–04–07
  7. By: Gosse Alserda; Jaap Bikker; Fieke van der Lecq
    Abstract: Pension funds' operating costs come at the cost of benefits, so it is crucial for pension funds to operate at the lowest cost possible. In practice, we observe substantial differences in costs per member for Dutch pension funds, both across and within size classes. This paper discusses scale inefficiency and X-inefficiency using various approaches and models, based on a unique supervisory data set, which distinguishes between administrative and investment costs. Our estimates show large economies of scale for pension fund administrations, but modest diseconomies of scale for investment activities. We also found that many pension funds have substantial X-inefficiencies for both administrative and investment activities. The two kinds of inefficiency differ across types of pension funds. Therefore, most pension funds should be able to improve their cost performance, and hence increase pension benefits.
    Keywords: Efficiency; operating costs; cost elasticity; stochastic cost frontier analysis; optimal scale
    JEL: G23 L1
  8. By: Manoj K Pandey, Vani S Kulkarni & Raghav Gaiha
    Abstract: This is the first study that offers a comprehensive analysis of depression among the old (60+ years) in South Africa. By using an analytical framewrok that builds on the (sparse) extant literature and a new dataset extracted from the four waves of the South African National Income Dynamics Study (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014), we examine factors contributing to depression of people in this age cohort. Depending on whether the dependent variable is binary (self-reported depression for ≥ 3 days in a week) or continuous (as in two indices of depression), we use random effects probit estimator with Mundlak adjustment or simply random effects with Mundlak adjustment. It is found that, among the old, those in their sixties, the Africans and Coloureds, women, those suffering from multimorbidity, those in lower asset quartiles, and individuals suffering family bereavement are more likely to be depressed. Factors that attenuate depression include marriage, pension, affluence, and trust in a community and familiar neighbourhoods.
    Keywords: aging, depression, multimorbidity, non-communicable dieseases, South Africa
    JEL: I12 J13 J18
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher; Anthony Webb; Candace M. Cosgrove; Natalia S. Orlova
    Abstract: Inequality in life expectancy is growing in the United States, but evidence is mixed regarding how much it has grown. Some studies have found that life expectancies have decreased for those with the lowest socioeconomic status (SES). Other studies have found that while inequality is rising, there have been life expectancy gains across the board. A primary difference in these studies is how SES is measured. Some studies use an absolute measure, such as years of school completed, while others use relative measures, such as a person’s ranking of years of school completed compared to others born at the same time. This study uses regression analysis to assign people a relative education ranking and, in doing so, attempts to isolate the changing relationship between SES and mortality from the fact that certain education-based groups, especially high school dropouts, actually have a lower SES level today than in the past. The study finds that when SES is defined in this way – relatively – inequality in mortality by SES is increasing but life expectancies have also increased across SES groups. The study also finds that white women in the bottom of the education distribution have experienced the least improvement of any group. This research suggests efforts to improve the finances of Social Security through higher retirement ages will have to reckon with the distributional effects of increasing inequality in mortality, but not with increases in mortality for large segments of the population.
    Date: 2017–04
  10. By: Matthias Firgo (WIFO); Klaus Nowotny (WIFO); Alexander Braun
    Abstract: Understanding the relation between different types of long-term care and the determinants of individual choice of long-term care types is fundamental for efficient policy making in times of ageing societies. However, empirical research on this issue has revealed both national and methodological factors as crucial for the policy conclusions drawn. Thus, the purpose of the present paper is twofold: First, at least to our knowledge, it is the first comprehensive assessment of this kind for Austria. Second, it extends the scarce literature explicitly focusing on the combined use of informal and formal care in addition to the exclusive use of these services based on an econometric framework accounting for the simultaneity and interdependencies in these types of long-term care. Our results provide strong evidence for a task-specific and complementary relation of formal and informal home care in Austria, with the health status and functional limitations as the main determinants of individual choice.
    Keywords: long-term care, formal, informal, bivariate probit, SHARE, Austria
    Date: 2017–04–06
  11. By: Maciej Lis
    Abstract: The age-productivity and age-employment profiles in each of the 28 European countries are investigated jointly using the harmonized survey of income and living conditions (EU-SILC). Based on the employment rates and the age of leaving the labour market, we propose four clusters of countries: with high employment rates and long employment, low employment rates and short employment and the two intermediate categories. With non-parametric and semi-parametric methods, we find evidence that the process of leaving the labour market is highly selective in countries with short employment pattern. Those leaving the labour market earliest are those with lowest productivity in countries with short employment, contrary in countries with long employment and low employment rates and we find no evidence of selection in countries with high employment rates and long employment.
    Keywords: labour market, pensions
    JEL: C14 J21 J24
    Date: 2017–03
  12. By: Marie Doumic (MAMBA - Modelling and Analysis for Medical and Biological Applications - LJLL - Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions - UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Inria Paris-Rocquencourt - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique); Mathieu Mezache (LJLL - Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions - UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, MAMBA - Modelling and Analysis for Medical and Biological Applications - LJLL - Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions - UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Inria de Paris - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique); Benoît Perthame (LJLL - Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions - UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, MAMBA - Modelling and Analysis for Medical and Biological Applications - LJLL - Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions - UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Inria de Paris - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique); Edouard Ribes (IRSEM - Institut de recherche stratégique de l'Ecole militaire - Ecole militaire); Delphine Salort (LCQB - Laboratory of Computational and Quantitative Biology - UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6)
    Abstract: Sales force Return on Investment (ROI) valuation with marketing mix frameworks is nowadays common. Sizing discussions then generally follow based on market data and business assumptions. Yet, according to our knowledge, little has been done to embed sales force demographic data (age/experience, tenure, gender etc...) as well as dynamics (especially turnover) in order to investigate the impact of the salesforce characteristics on sales. This paper illustrates such an attempt. It shows that sales force ROI valuation can benefit from a correction on turnover and that optimizing a sales rep hiring policy can unleash additional ROI points. The results are yet heavily dependent in the data structure of the study and their generalization would have to be investigated.
    Keywords: Workforce planning, Marketing mix,Structured population dynamics, Sales force turnover, Learning curve, Optimal policies
    Date: 2017–02–03
  13. By: William B.P. Robson; Alexandre Laurin
    Keywords: Retirement Saving and Income
    JEL: H5
  14. By: Paul Goebel (OECD)
    Abstract: Government debt has many characteristics and thus cannot be fully captured by one indicator. There are several different ways of defining government debt, and each definition can lead to different interpretations of a government’s financial situation. As a result, international comparisons of government debt statistics must be conducted with care. This working paper will summarise some of the major differences in defining and measuring government debt and, based on available data, will demonstrate the impact of these differences when comparing the level of government debt as a percentage of GDP across various OECD countries. This paper will also look at the challenges in incorporating government-sponsored pension schemes in government debt statistics and the implications for making international comparisons of government debt. It will then attempt to compare government debt statistics by adjusting for some of these challenges. It will also present a complementary approach for analysing and comparing government debt, using projections of old age dependency and economic growth in order to provide additional context. The key findings of this paper are that: (i) international comparisons of government debt should exclude pension liabilities until more data are available from more countries; (ii) comparisons of government debt should be conducted separately for implicit and explicit liabilities as well as for funded and unfunded pension liabilities; (iii) further cooperation is required between the national accounts, actuary and public sector / business accounting communities to enable methodological consistency in the estimation of pension liabilities; and (iv) comparisons of government debt should not rely on one indicator but instead utilise a wide array of statistics in order to provide a more relevant and complete picture of government finances both within and across countries.
    Date: 2017–04–11
  15. By: Douglas, Roger (Roger Douglas Associates); MacCulloch, Robert (University of Auckland)
    Abstract: Many nations are seeking to reform their welfare states so that costs to the government can be reduced and the quality of outcomes improved. As a potential way to achieve these aims, there has been a surge of interest in the Singaporean model which features compulsory savings accounts and transparent pricing of health services. It has achieved some of the best health-care outcomes in the world at a cost that is the lowest amongst high income countries. In this paper we show how tax cuts can be designed to help establish compulsory savings accounts so that a publicly funded welfare system can be changed into one that relies more heavily on private funding in a politically feasible way. To our knowledge, showing how both a tax and welfare reform can be jointly designed to enable this transition to occur has not been done before. Our policy reform creates institutions that have features in common with Singaporean ones, especially for health-care. However there are also key differences. We present a new unified approach to the funding of health, retirement and risk-cover (for events like unemployment) through the establishment of a set of compulsory savings accounts. A case study of New Zealand is used as an illustration. The fiscal impact of our proposed reform on the government's current and future budgets is reported, as well as its effect on low, middle and high income individuals.
    Keywords: welfare state reform, compulsory savings, taxation
    JEL: E21 E6 H20 H55 I1 I38 J65
    Date: 2017–03

This nep-age issue is ©2017 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.