nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2019‒10‒14
eleven papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Aging in the USA: Similarities and disparities across time and space By Abeliansky, Ana Lucia; Erel, Devin; Strulik, Holger
  2. The Effects of Job Characteristics on Retirement By Péter Hudomiet; Michael D. Hurd; Andrew Parker; Susann Rohwedder
  3. Management Practices and Labor Productivity in Intensive Care Homes for the Elderly (Japanese) By INUI Tomohiko; KAWASAKI Kazuyasu; ITO Yukiko; MIYAGAWA Tsutomu; MANO Toshiki
  4. Retirement in the Shadow (Banking) By Guillermo Ordoñez; Facundo Piguillem
  5. Gender differences in active ageing: Findings from a new individual-level index for European countries By David Steinmayr; Doris Weichselbaumer; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
  6. It Sucks to Be Single! Marital Status and Redistribution of Social Security By Max Groneck; Johanna Wallenius
  7. Population aging and structural transformation By Cravino, Javier; Levchenko, Andrei A.; Rojas, Marco
  8. Entry decisions and asymmetric competition between non-profit and for-profit homes in the long-term care market By Grant, Iris; Kesternich, Iris; Van Biesebroeck, Johannes
  9. Wealth Taxation and Life Expectancy By Antonio Bellofatto
  10. Policy Uncertainty and Information Flows: Evidence from Pension Reform Expectations By Ciani, Emanuele; Delavande, Adeline; Etheridge, Ben; Francesconi, Marco
  11. The Effects of the Macroeconomy on the Labor Supply and Mortality in Long-term Care Institutions in Japan By HANAOKA Chie

  1. By: Abeliansky, Ana Lucia; Erel, Devin; Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: We study biological aging of elderly U.S. Americans born 1904-1966. We use thirteen waves of the Health and Retirement Study and construct a health deficit index as the number of health deficits present in a person measured relative to the number of potential deficits. We find that, on average, Americans develop 5 percent more health deficits per year, that men age slightly faster than women, and that, at any age above 50, Caucasians display significantly less health deficits than African Americans. We also document a steady time trend of health improvements. For each year of later birth, health deficits decline on average by about 1 percent. This health trend is about the same across regions and for men and women, but significantly lower for African Americans compared to Caucasians. In non-linear regressions, we find that regional differences in aging follow a particular regularity, akin to the compensation effect of mortality. Health deficits converge for men and women and across American regions and suggest a life span of the American population of about 97 years.
    Keywords: health,aging,health deficit index,United States
    JEL: I10 I19 J14 N32
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Péter Hudomiet; Michael D. Hurd; Andrew Parker; Susann Rohwedder
    Abstract: This paper presents results based on a survey fielded in the RAND American Life Panel that queried older workers about their current, desired, and expected job characteristics, and about how certain job characteristics would affect their retirement. Having access to flexible work hours was found to be the most consistent predictor of retirement expectations. For example, we estimated that the fraction of individuals working after age 70 would be 32.2% if all workers had flexible hours, while the fraction working would be 17.2% if none had the option of flexible hours. We further found that job stress, physical and cognitive job demands, the option to telecommute, and commuting times were also strong predictors of retirement expectations. By comparing workers’ current job characteristics with those that individuals desire, we show that people would like preretirement jobs to be less cognitively and physically demanding and more sociable compared to their current jobs. We also find that most workers worry about their health and the demands of their jobs when they think about their future work trajectory, but relatively few were worried that their employers would retain them. Having access to part-time jobs, and expected longevity were less important predictors of retirement.
    JEL: J14 J24 J26
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: INUI Tomohiko; KAWASAKI Kazuyasu; ITO Yukiko; MIYAGAWA Tsutomu; MANO Toshiki
    Abstract: With the aging of Japanese society, the demand for care services for the elderly is rapidly increasing. It is already difficult to provide enough care services, and we anticipate an enormous increase in costs for care services in the future. To cope with these situations, it is of paramount importance to improve the efficiency of the long-term care service industry. Previous studies found that the better-managed establishments recruit and retain workers with higher capabilities and achieve higher productivity. The establishments with better management practices have been found to provide higher quality service in the case of non-profit organizations, such as hospitals and schools. Our study examines the relationship between labor productivity and management practices in Japanese intensive care homes for the elderly. We find a positive relationship between the management practices and each of the following: labor productivity, ICT and robot adoption, and manager's hours spent improving services. On the other hand, there was no correlation between the management practices and the retention rate of workers or the shares of aged workers.
    Date: 2019–08
  4. By: Guillermo Ordoñez; Facundo Piguillem
    Abstract: The U.S. economy has recently experienced two, seemingly unrelated, phenomena: a large increase in post-retirement life expectancy and a major expansion in securitization and shadow banking activities. We argue they are intimately related. Agents rely on financial intermediaries to save for post-retirement consumption. When expecting to live longer, they rely more heavily on intermediaries that use securitization, with riskier but higher returns. A quantitative evaluation of the model shows the potential of the demographic transition to account for a boom in credit and output, but only when it triggers a more extensive use of securitization and shadow banking.
    JEL: E21 E44 G21 J11
    Date: 2019–10
  5. By: David Steinmayr; Doris Weichselbaumer; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
    Abstract: We use data from wave 6 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to construct an individual-level index of active ageing for people aged between 50 and 90 years. We develop nine sub-indices for different dimensions, which are then aggregated to the final index. This individual-level index allows to analyze inequalities between age cohorts, dimensions, countries, and other individual-characteristics that are covered by SHARE. We focus on differences between the sexes. Overall, women score lower than men with 54.9 index-points compared to 57.7 for men. We present gender differences in active ageing for some sub-populations as a showcase for this new individual-level index.
    Date: 2019–01
  6. By: Max Groneck (University of Groningen); Johanna Wallenius (Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the labor supply effects and the redistributional consequences of the U.S. social security system. We focus particularly on auxiliary benefits, where eligibility is linked to marital status. To this end, we develop a dynamic, structural life cycle model of singles and couples, featuring uncertain marital status and survival. We account for the socio-economic gradients to both marriage stability and life expectancy. We find that auxiliary benefits have a large depressing effect on married women’s employment. Moreover, we show that a revenue neutral minimum benefit scheme would moderately reduce inequality relative to the current U.S. system.
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Cravino, Javier; Levchenko, Andrei A.; Rojas, Marco
    Abstract: We propose and quantify a novel mechanism behind the structural transformation process: older individuals devote a larger share of their expenditures to services, so the relative size of the service sector grows as the population ages. We document that for a large sample of countries, increases in population age are accompanied by the rise in the relative size of the service sector. We use household-level data from the US Consumer Expenditure Survey to show that the fraction of expenditures devoted to services increases with household age. We use a shift-share decomposition and a quantitative model to show that changes in the US population age distribution accounted for about a fifth of the increase in the share of services in consumption expenditures observed between 1982 and 2016. In our quantitative model, population aging plays a much larger role than changes in real income in accounting for the structural change observed in the US during this period.
    Date: 2019–09
  8. By: Grant, Iris; Kesternich, Iris; Van Biesebroeck, Johannes
    Abstract: The demand for long-term care (LTC) services is growing strongly, mostly due to population aging. Historically, the German LTC market was dominated by non-profit nursing homes, but the recent entry wave was tilted towards for-profit competitors. Using a rich administrative dataset on all LTC facilities in Germany, we examine strategic interaction between these two ownership types in a static entry model. The estimates of competitive effects imply that non-profit and for-profit homes are substitutes, but competition is much stronger within-type, suggesting that they provide differentiated products. For-profit homes in particular act as if they operate in a different market segment, but over time their entry behavior has converged to that of the more established non-profits. Counterfactual simulations of proposed changes in government policy suggest that even small changes favoring either type could have a large impact on the fraction of markets that remain unserved or only served by a single type.
    Keywords: Competition; For-profit; Long-term care; non-profit
    JEL: I11 L13 L22 L33
    Date: 2019–09
  9. By: Antonio Bellofatto (University of Queensland)
    Abstract: I study the optimal taxation of wealth in a dynastic economy with heterogeneous mortality risk, and various sources of wealth accumulation (including savings and bequests). Working individuals are indexed by skills which are private information. Skills not only determine earning abilities but also correlate with survival probability, so that more productive agents on average live longer. My analysis points to the longevity gradient as a crucial determinant for optimal wealth taxation, both from a theoretical and from a quantitative angle. In particular, due to longevity variations, savings should be marginally taxed in expectation, while bequests received early in life should be marginally subsidized on average. When calibrated to U.S. data, such forces are commensurate with the actual levels of wealth taxation in a sample of developed countries.
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Ciani, Emanuele; Delavande, Adeline; Etheridge, Ben; Francesconi, Marco
    Abstract: Subjective expectations about future policy play an important role in individuals' welfare. We examine how workers' expectations about pension reform vary with proximity to reforms, information cost, and aggregate information acquisition. We construct a new pan-European dataset of reform implementations and government announcements, and combine it with individual-level representative survey data on expectations about future reforms and country-level data on online search. We ï¬ nd: (1) Expectations are revised upward by about 10 percentage points in the year leading up to a reform, from a median of 50%, regardless of whether the reform is announced; (2) Aggregate online search increases after announcements, when the cost of information is lower; (3) Reform announcements and online information gathering are substitutes in the formation of expectations; (4) Expectations do not converge as a result of announcements or implementations; (5) The eï¬?ect of information on expectations varies substantially across workers and systematically with observed characteristics that proxy cognitive ability and information value. These ï¬ ndings, interpreted using a model of rational inattention, reveal substantial informational rigidities, with welfare costs that run into trillions of Euros.
    Keywords: Expectations; online search; Pension reform uncertainty; rational inattention; Reform announcement; retirement
    JEL: C8 D84 D91 J14
    Date: 2019–09
  11. By: HANAOKA Chie
    Abstract: The numbers and types of workers in long-term care facilities may affect the quality of care in these facilities. Recent research has demonstrated that the supply of workers in nursing homes changes in response to macroeconomic conditions. Our study examines how staffing rates and mortality in long-term care institutions are affected by unemployment rates using data from public long-term care institutions in Japan. We find that the supply of skilled nursing care workers is sensitive to the macroeconomy and that mortality in long-term care institutions varies with these cyclic variations. These findings imply that cyclic fluctuations in mortality in long-term care institutions depend partially on cyclic fluctuations in the number of skilled nursing care workers.
    Date: 2019–09

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