nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2018‒07‒16
twenty papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Aging population in Asian countries |Lessons from Japanese experiences | By Ai Oku; Eri Ichimura; Mika Tsukamoto
  2. Subjective expectations of survival and economic behaviour By Cormac O'Dea; David Sturrock
  3. Health, Longevity and Pension Reform By Laun, Tobias; Markussen, Simen; Vigtel, Trond Christian; Wallenius, Johanna
  4. Demography and Provisions for Retirement: The Pension Composition, an Equilibrium Approach By Bernard (B.M.S.) van Praag; J. Peter Hop
  5. Identification of the statutory retirement dates in the Sample of Integrated Labour Market Biographies (SIAB) By Lorenz, Svenja; Pfister, Mona; Zwick, Thomas
  6. Financial Literacy of Middle and Older Generations in Japan By Satoshi Shimizutani; Hiroyuki Yamada
  7. The Long View: Scenarios for the World Economy to 2060 By Yvan Guillemette; David Turner
  8. The Effects of a Change in the Social Security Earnings Test on the Japanese Elderly Male Labor Supply By Koyo Miyoshi; Taichi Tamura
  9. The impact of cuts to social care spending on the use of Accident and Emergency departments in England By Rowena Crawford; George Stoye; Ben Zaranko
  10. Dissaving by the elderly in Japan: Empirical evidence from survey data By Keiko MURATA
  11. Decreased Effectiveness of Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Japan’s Aging Society By Yoshino, Naoyuki; Miyamoto, Hiroaki
  12. Physiological Aging around the World and Economic Growth By Dalgaard, Carl-Johan; Hansen, Casper Worm; Strulik, Holger
  13. Sustainability of the pension system in Macedonia: A comprehensive analysis and reform proposal with MK-PENS - dynamic microsimulation model By Blagica Petreski; Pavle Gacov
  14. New Evidence on predictable validity of grip strength on later outcomes in Japan By Midori Matsushima; Satoshi Shimizutani; Hiroyuki Yamada
  15. Better off at home? Effects of a nursing home admission on costs, hospitalizations and survival By Pieter Bakx; Bram Wouterse; Eddy (E.K.A.) van Doorslaer; Albert Wong
  16. Are rising house prices really good for your brain? House value and cognitive functioning among older Europeans By Bénédicte H. Apouey; Isabelle Chort
  17. La pension à points : 5 principes pour plus d’équité dans les régimes de pension en Belgique By Pierre Devolder; Jean Hindriks
  18. Can Data Sharing Help Financial Institutions Improve the Financial Health of Older Americans? By Santucci, Larry
  19. How Should A Government Finance for Pension Benefit? By Yasuoka, Masaya
  20. Tactical Target Date Funds By Gomes, Francisco J; Michaelides, Alexander; Zhang, Yuxin

  1. By: Ai Oku (Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance); Eri Ichimura (Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance); Mika Tsukamoto (Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance)
    Abstract: Many Asian countries are facing a rapidly aging population. An aging population will cause social security expenditures in national budget to rise. Currently, fiscal conditions in Asian countries are relatively stable, but governments will be required to control social security expenditures to maintain fiscal soundness. Japan established universal health insurance and pension insurance systems in 1961. In 1973, the so called gfirst year of high-level social welfare h, free medical services for the elderly and the indexlinked pension system were started. Currently, in Japan, the aging rate, which measures the share of the population aged 65 years old or over, has reached 27%, while the country continues to face fiscal deficits and government debt has been accumulating. Other Asian countries have started to develop their countries f social security systems, so it is time to review the lessons that can be drawn from Japanese experiences relating to social security expenditures and national budget conditions. In this paper, we focused on Japanese social insurance systems, especially health insurance and pension insurance systems, and addressed some lessons to Asian countries. Lessons from health insurance system are: (1) It is important to determine public contributions f share of medical expenses not by patients f age, but based on their income and assets, (2) To establish universal health insurance system, it is important to ensure the stable financial revenues of insurers with subscribers who are unable to enroll with other insurers. Lessons from the pension insurance system are: (1) It is important for the government to manage sharp acceleration of inflation in such a way as to not increase pension benefits, thereby preventing the financial burdening of future generations, (2) The pension system should be designed based on the long-term projections of the population aging rate and total fertility rate, and policies should be adapted accordingly, (3) It would be preferable that the government take a gMacro-economic slide h pension system which is a fixed contribution schedule coupled with a mechanism to rebalance pension finances through automatic adjustment of benefits.
    Keywords: population aging, social security system, social benefit, health care, pension, Asia, Japan
    JEL: H60 I13 N15 O20
    Date: 2017–07
  2. By: Cormac O'Dea (Institute for Fiscal Studies); David Sturrock (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: This paper investigates individuals’ expectations about their own survival to older ages and compares these to projected and actual survival rates. The extent to which individuals have, on average, reasonable expectations about survival to older ages is important in a context of increasing personal responsibility for, and control over, the accumulation and use of retirement savings. We use data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which surveyed a representative sample of the English household population aged 50 and over between 2002­–03 and 2014–15, and the ONS 2014-based life tables for England and Wales. Subjective expectations of survival Modern surveys ask individuals about their probability of survival to specific older ages. In only a small proportion of cases is there clear evidence that these questions are not understood. 98% of individuals gave an answer to a question asking their chances of surviving to older ages and of these just 14% – i.e. fewer than one-in-six – showed clear evidence of misunderstanding (e.g. by reporting no chance of death in the coming 10-year period). Individuals’ stated beliefs about their probability of survival are correlated with known risk factors such as smoking and the age that their parents died. Those who currently smoke report on average 6–8 percentage points lower chance of surviving to an age 11–15 years ahead than do people who have never smoked. Those whose mother died at age 85 or older report on average 5-7 percentage points higher chance of surviving to an age 11–15 years ahead than do those whose mother died aged 60-64. Beliefs about probability of survival are also correlated with the individual’s actual age of death and respond to new diagnoses of health conditions. Those reporting a 10% or less chance of survival to an age 11–15 years ahead were more than twice as likely to die in the following 10 years than those who reported a 50% or greater chance of survival. A new cancer diagnosis was associated with a 5 percentage point reduction in the stated probability of surviving to an age 11–15 years ahead. Comparing subjective expectations with life table estimates and mortality data Relative to life tables, individuals from a range of ages and birth cohorts underestimate their chances of survival to ages 75, 80 and 85, on average. Those in their 50s and 60s underestimate their chances of survival to age 75 by around 20 percentage points and to 85 by around 5 to 10 percentage For example, men born in the 1940s who were interviewed at age 65 reported a 65% chance of making it to age 75, whereas the official estimate was 83%. For women, the equivalent figures were 65% and 89%. Individuals in their late 70s and 80s are, on average, optimistic about surviving to ages 90, 95 and above. This optimism becomes larger at older ages (10–15 percentage points when looking at age 95) and is larger for men than for women, amongst those born in the 1920s and 1930 For example, men born in the 1930s who were interviewed at age 80 reported a 32% chance of making it to age 95, whereas the official estimate was 17%. For women, the equivalent figures were 37% and 24%. Figure 1.1. Comparing subjective reports and “objective” life table estimates of survival probabilities (for men born 1930-39)
    Keywords: Survival expectations, savings, wealth accumulation, annuitisation
    JEL: D14 D84 D91 J14
    Date: 2018–04–16
  3. By: Laun, Tobias (Department of Economics); Markussen, Simen (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Vigtel, Trond Christian (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Wallenius, Johanna (Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics,)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study alternative pension reforms designed to achieve fiscal sustainability in the face of demographic change. We are particularly interested in the heterogeneous effects across demographic groups, as improvements in health and longevity have not been uniform across the population. To this end, we develop a dynamic, structural life cycle model of heterogeneous agents who face health, mortality and income risk. We consider the following policy reform measures: (1) increasing the early access age to pensions, (2) raising income taxes, (3) lowering pension benefits and (4) lowering pension and disability benefits. We find that, of the considered policies, proportionally lowering pension and disability benefits results in the highest average welfare and the lowest degree of inequality. It is also successful at boosting employment, particularly among the less educated.
    Keywords: Life cycle; Retirement; Disability insurance; Health
    JEL: E24 J22 J26
    Date: 2018–05–08
  4. By: Bernard (B.M.S.) van Praag (University of Amsterdam); J. Peter Hop
    Abstract: Pensions may be provided for in a modern society by several methods, viz., voluntary individual savings, mandatory fully funded occupational pension systems, and mandatory social security financed by pay-as-you-go. The specific mixture of the three systems we will call the pension composition. We assume that individual workers decide about their own individual savings, that the fully funded occupational system is decided upon by the age cohort of the median worker and that social security is decided upon by the median voter. For a given demography and interest rate the joint result of those decisions is a Pareto- equilibrium. Nowadays most of capital supply stems from individual and institutionalised pension savings. For ease of exposition we will assume that individual and collective pension savings are the only source of capital supply. When capital supply equals demand from industry there is equilibrium on the capital market with a corresponding equilibrium interest rate. In this paper we assume a demography with hundred age brackets and we investigate how changes in the birth and survival rates affect the pension composition and the capital market equilibrium. Our conclusion is that the demographic effects are considerable not only for the resulting pension composition, but also for macro-economic variables as the wage rate, the interest rate and the capital-income ratio. It follows that the pension composition in general and social security in particular is determined by the demography and cannot be used as long-term political instrument. We find that this is relevant for the present century, where birth and mortality rates in most western countries are steeply declining.
    Keywords: demography; funded pensions; unfunded pensions; social security; interest rate; overlapping generations; individual savings
    JEL: H55 H75 J1 J26
    Date: 2018–06–21
  5. By: Lorenz, Svenja; Pfister, Mona; Zwick, Thomas
    Abstract: "We analyse how administrative data on the labour history of individuals can be used to identify financial incentives within the pension system, even though these data do not include information on pension-relevant periods. We apply the Sample of Integrated Labour Market Biographies (SIAB 7514). The data consist of a two percent sample of the population of the Integrated Employment Biographies from 1975 to 2014 and are provided by the German Federal Employment Agency. We present a method for identifying the pensionable periods for old age pensions. In addition to birth date and gender, we show how to identify the qualification periods to determine whether an individual is eligible for one of the old age pension types (standard old age pension, old age pension for women, old age pension for the unemployed or under a progressive retirement plan, old age pension for persons with a long insurance record). Eligibility for a pension type then determines the earliest statutory retirement dates (normal retirement age (NRA) and early retirement age (ERA)). The knowledge about eligibility for a pension type enables us to compare the actual labour market exit age with the NRA and ERA for each birth cohort from 1936 to 1948 and to calculate the proportions of employees for the different paths out of the labour market. First, we explain the information that is necessary to identify the statutory retirement dates. We cannot identify periods of illness, inability to work, maternity, parenting, caregiving on a non-commercial basis or voluntary insurance payments from the SIAB. To assess the accuracy of pensionable periods calculated using the SIAB, we therefore use a high-quality administrative biographical dataset (Biographical Data of Selected Insurance Agencies in Germany (BASiD 5109)) that combines information on individual employment biographies (including qualification periods) with retirement information from the statutory retirement insurance records. We use the BASiD to collect information on employment states and other relevant variables that are not available in the SIAB. Moreover, we show that we can reduce the errors in identifying the relevant eligibility criteria for old age pension types to a negligible amount when we restrict our sample to employees with a high labour market attachment and short gaps in their labour market histories. We argue that the employees in our reduced sample are the employees of interest for analysing the impact of the financial incentives of the pension system on the labour market behaviour of older employees. Only these employees have a real choice of whether to work another year or to retire. We conclude that we can reliably identify individual statutory retirement dates in conventional individual labour market history datasets that do not directly contain retirement information. The additional information we generate makes these data sets a valuable alternative for the analysis of the labour market behaviour of older employees." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Date: 2018–06–12
  6. By: Satoshi Shimizutani (Nakasone Yasuhiro Peace Institute); Hiroyuki Yamada (Faculty of Economics, Keio University)
    Abstract: Financial literacy holds growing importance for managing assets/savings during the longer retirement period currently experienced in rapidly aging countries, which is most relevant to Japan. We examine levels and determinants of financial literacy as well as its association to asset allocation among middle and older generations of Japan using data from JSTAR (Japanese Study on Aging and Retirement) collected in 2009. We present some interesting findings. First, financial literacy is generally associated with educational attainment, cognitive skills, coursework in economics or finance, and income level. Second, financial literacy is associated with resultant asset allocation; individuals with higher literacy are more likely to invest in stocks or securities separate from their savings.
    Keywords: financial literacy, Japan, JSTAR, household asset allocation
    JEL: D14 G11 J26
  7. By: Yvan Guillemette; David Turner
    Abstract: This paper presents long-run economic projections for 46 countries, extending the short-run projections of the Spring 2018 OECD Economic Outlook. It first sets out a baseline scenario under the assumption that countries do not carry out institutional and policy reforms. This scenario is then used as a reference point to illustrate the potential impact of structural reforms in alternative scenarios, including better governance and educational attainment in the large emerging-market economies and competition-friendly product market and labour market reforms in OECD economies. Flexibility-enhancing labour market reforms not only boost living standards but, by raising the employment rate, also help alleviate fiscal pressures associated with population ageing. Another scenario illustrates the potential positive impact of linking the pensionable age to life expectancy on the participation rate of older workers, and in particular that of women. Additional scenarios illustrate the potential economic gains from raising public investment and spending more on research and development. A final ‘negative’ scenario shows how slipping back on trade liberalisation – returning to 1990 average tariff rates – might depress standards of living everywhere.
    Keywords: conditional convergence, fiscal sustainability, governance reform, labour market reform, long-term growth, long-term projection, retirement age
    JEL: E6 H68 J11 O4
    Date: 2018–07–12
  8. By: Koyo Miyoshi (Aichi-Gakuin University); Taichi Tamura (Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of the elimination of a 20% cut in the pension for regular workers aged 60?64 years in 2005 on the supply of elderly Japanese labor. For data, we use the 2004 and 2007 Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions. The estimation results indicate that the change increased the supply of male regular workers and decreased that of nonregular workers aged 60?64 years but did not increase the overall labor supply.
    Keywords: Social security earnings test, Pension, Elderly labor supply
    JEL: J14 J22 H55
    Date: 2017–05
  9. By: Rowena Crawford (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); George Stoye (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Ben Zaranko (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: Recent years have seen substantial reductions in public spending on social care for older people in England. This has not only led to large falls in the number of people over the age of 65 receiving publicly funded social care, but also to growing concern about the potential knock-on effects on other public services, and in particular the National Health Service (NHS). In this paper, we exploit regional variation in the reductions in public funding for social care to examine the impact on Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in NHS hospitals. We find that reductions in social care spending on people aged 65 and above have led to increased use of A&E services, both in terms of the average number of visits per resident and the number of unique patients visiting A&E each year. We estimate that the average cut to social care spending for the older population over the period (£375) led to an increase of 0.09 visits per resident, compared to a mean of 0.37 visits in 2009. The effects are most pronounced among people aged 85 and above. This has also led to a modest increase in the cost of providing A&E care, increasing A&E costs by an additional £3 per resident for each £100 cut in social care funding.
    Keywords: health, social care, spillovers
    Date: 2018–06–14
  10. By: Keiko MURATA
    Abstract: Using two micro datasets of household surveys, this study empirically examines the (dis)saving behavior of the elderly in Japan. Using the long-run dataset covering 20 years, the findings indicate that, on average, the elderly in Japan dissave, but the pace of dissaving of retired elderly appears to be excessively slow in light of the standard life cycle-permanent income hypothesis. The analysis suggests that one likely factor is the desire to leave a bequest. Both the saving rate and the pace of wealth decumulation show that retired households dissave more slowly if the head plans to leave a bequest. Retired elderly who intend to have savings for precautionary purposes are not found to dissave more slowly except for those who do not plan to leave a bequest to their children.
  11. By: Yoshino, Naoyuki (Asian Development Bank Institute); Miyamoto, Hiroaki (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: We study how an aging population affects economic performance and the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies. We develop a New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous households, workers, and retirees. We demonstrate that an increase in the proportion of working population increases aggregate output, consumption, and investment by increasing total labor supply in the long run. It also increases wages and reduces social security burden of the government. We also find that effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies is weakened when the proportion of retirees becomes larger. This is the reason why recent monetary policies cannot lift the Japanese economy from prolonged stagnation.
    Keywords: aging population; aging society; fiscal policy; monetary policy
    JEL: E52 E62 J11
    Date: 2017–05–09
  12. By: Dalgaard, Carl-Johan (University of Copenhagen); Hansen, Casper Worm (University of Copenhagen); Strulik, Holger (University of Goettingen)
    Abstract: As the composition of the world population gradually shifts towards older age groups, it becomes increasingly important to understand the ináuence of aging on macroeconomic outcomes of interest. Until now, however, it has been impossible to separate out the role played by demographics from the pure role of aging at the country level. Drawing on research in the Öelds of biology and medicine, the present study provides data on physiological aging. Our data shows that, over the last quarter of a century, the average person in the global labor force has not grown older in physiological terms. In an application of our panel dataset, we Önd evidence that accelerated physiological aging causally reduces labor productivity. Taken together, our analysis suggests that if productivity growth has deaccelerated in recent decades, physiological aging is unlikely to be a contributing force.Keywords: Physiological Aging; Economic Growth JEL Classification: O5; I15
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Blagica Petreski; Pavle Gacov
    Date: 2018–03
  14. By: Midori Matsushima (Faculty of Public Affairs, Osaka University of Commerce); Satoshi Shimizutani (Nakasone Yasuhiro Peace Institute); Hiroyuki Yamada (Faculty of Economics, Keio University)
    Abstract: This study provides new evidence on predictable validity of grip strength on later life outcomes using a population based longitudinal survey for the middle and older generations in Japan. We show level of grip strength contains significant information on health outcome or mortality in subsequent years although the loss of grip strength does not. Moreover, we confirm that grip strength is associated with socio-economic status, particularly educational attainment.
    Keywords: grip strength, JSTAR, health outcome, mortality, Japan
    JEL: I14 I19
  15. By: Pieter Bakx (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Bram Wouterse (CPB); Eddy (E.K.A.) van Doorslaer (Erasmus School of Economics Rotterdam); Albert Wong (RIVM)
    Abstract: Aging-in-place policies substitute home care for nursing home admissions (NHA). They appear to be a win-win by keeping public spending in check and being in line with personal preferences, but have hitherto not been evaluated. We study the impact of NHA eligibility using Dutch administrative data and exploiting variation between randomly assigned assessors in their tendency to grant admission. The impact on mortality is zero, but with considerable effect heterogeneity. Moreover, aging-in-place policies come at the cost of increased curative care, especially hospital admissions, and do not reduce total healthcare spending, suggesting they may not be a win-win after all.
    Keywords: long-term care; policy evaluation; instrumental variables
    JEL: C26 I10
    Date: 2018–07–06
  16. By: Bénédicte H. Apouey (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Isabelle Chort (UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour)
    Abstract: This study examines how house prices influence cognitive functioning for individuals aged 50+ in Europe. Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE) between 2004 and 2015, we compute the median house price for each region-year, using individual self-reported house values. Cognitive scores capture either fluid intelligence (numeracy, memory) or a mix of fluid and crystallized intelligences (verbal fluency). Compared with the previous literature, we allow housing market fluctuations to have different effects during episodes of price increases and decreases, and we study owners with a mortgage, owners without a mortgage, and tenants separately. Findings indicate that house price booms do not systematically improve cognitive health outcomes: for outright owners and tenants, a rise in prices correlates with a decrease in fluid intelligence. For outright owners, this result is partly explained by increased alcohol consumption, and is also related to stronger feelings of guilt and irritability, consistent with aversion to advantageous inequality. Findings also show asymmetry in the effects of price booms and busts: indeed, for mortgaged owners, both price increase and decrease episodes have a positive impact on cognitive outcomes. We argue that during the crisis the beneficial impact of price busts may have been driven by the decline in interest rates, which reduced the debt burden of households with a variable rate mortgage.
    Keywords: Wealth,Cognitive functioning,Health,House prices,Older Europeans,SHARE,Europe
    Date: 2018–06
  17. By: Pierre Devolder (Université Catholique de Louvain, IMMAQ, ISBA); Jean Hindriks (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))
    Abstract: La proposition de réforme des régimes belges de pension légale visant à introduire une pension à points a fait l’objet ces derniers mois de nombreuses interrogations et critiques, souvent basées sur une mécompréhension du mécanisme envisagé. Pourtant, loin d’être comme certains ont pu le prétendre une loterie ou une variable d’ajustement du budget de l’Etat, le système proposé est en réalité porteur de valeurs d’équité sensiblement absentes des régimes actuels
    Date: 2018–05–15
  18. By: Santucci, Larry (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: This paper explores how increased data sharing among financial institutions could improve the financial outcomes of older adults suffering from cognitive impairment. Among the first signs of cognitive impairment in older adults is a decline in financial capacity, which is also a risk factor for abuse or exploitation. Banks and other financial institutions are at the front lines to monitor and detect changes in financial capacity and susceptibility to fraud and abuse. However, industry experts have found that, in many cases, no mechanism exists for financial service providers to communicate signs of cognitive impairment, abuse, or fraud to family, financial caregivers, or other financial institutions. Creating a regulatory environment whereby financial institutions can more easily share data among themselves could be an important component of a more comprehensive strategy to bridge the communication gap and reduce the frequency and severity of financial losses for older adults.
    Keywords: elder fraud; financial exploitation; Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; data privacy
    JEL: D18 G18 J14
    Date: 2017–11–09
  19. By: Yasuoka, Masaya
    Abstract: Based on Ono (2010), this short note presents consideration of the consumption tax and examines how tax reform to maintain the neutrality of pension benefit affects income growth rate and the employment rate. A decrease in the contribution rate of workers with an increase in consumption tax raises employment, but the effect on income growth is ambiguous. A decrease in the contribution rate of firms with an increase in consumption tax decreases the employment and facilitates income growth.
    Keywords: Aging society, Elderly care services, Tax system, Endogenous growth
    JEL: H21 H51 J14
    Date: 2018–06–20
  20. By: Gomes, Francisco J; Michaelides, Alexander; Zhang, Yuxin
    Abstract: We show that saving for retirement in target date funds (TDFs) modified to take advantage of predictability in excess returns driven by the variance risk premium generates economically large welfare gains. We call these funds tactical target date funds (TTDFs). To be easily implementable and communicated to investors, the portfolio rule followed by TTDFs is designed to be extremely simplified relative to the optimal policy rules. Despite this significant mis-specification, substantial welfare gains persist. Importantly, these gains remain economically important even after we introduce restrictions that limit turnover to empirically observed magnitudes for mutual funds, and after we take into account potential increases in transaction costs. Crucially, we show that this predictability is not correlated with individual household risk, confirming that households are in a prime position to exploit this premium.
    Keywords: life cycle portfolio choice; market timing.; retirement savings; strategic asset allocation; tactical asset allocation; Target date funds; variance risk premium
    JEL: G11
    Date: 2018–06

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