nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2019‒12‒23
27 papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. How Have Pension Cuts Affected Public Sector Competitiveness? By Laura D. Quinby; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher; Jean-Pierre Aubry
  2. Alternative Demography-based Projection Approaches for Public Health and Long-term Care Expenditure By Lassila, Jukka; Valkonen, Tarmo
  3. Are Social Security’s Actuarial Adjustments Still Correct? By Alicia H. Munnell; Anqi Chen
  4. Demographic Obstacles to European Growth By Thomas F. Cooley; Espen Henriksen; Charlie Nusbaum
  5. How Do Older Workers Use Nontraditional Jobs? By Alicia H. Munnell; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher; Abigail N. Walters
  6. Why Are 401(k)/IRA Balances Substantially Below Potential? By Andrew D. Biggs; Alicia H. Munnell; Anqi Chen
  7. Does Public Pension Board Composition Impact Returns? By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Caroline V. Crawford
  8. Home Equity in Retirement By Nakajima, Makoto; Telyukova, Irina A.
  9. The Funded Status of Local Pensions Inches Closer to States By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Caroline V. Crawford; Alicia H. Munnell
  10. Model of the Education for Adults in Slovakia By Gabriela Dubcová; ?ubica Foltínová
  11. Dynamic analysis of demographic change and human capital accumulation in an R&D-based growth model By Kohei Okada
  12. How Would More Saving Affect the National Retirement Risk Index? By Alicia H. Munnell; Wenliang Hou; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher
  13. Stability in Overall Pension Plan Funding Masks a Growing Divide By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Caroline V. Crawford; Kevin Wandrei
  14. Investment Update: How Do Public Plans Value Their Assets? By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Kevin Wandrei
  15. Investment Update: How Do Public Plans Value Their Assets? By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Kevin Wandrei
  16. Do Benefit Cuts Encourage Public Employees to Leave? By Laura D. Quinby; Gal Wettstein
  17. Building Emergency Savings Through Employer-Sponsored Rainy-day Savings Accounts By John Beshears; James J. Choi; Mark Iwry; David John; David Laibson; Brigitte C. Madrian
  18. Major health shocks and decisions about labour force participation amongst Mexican couples By Vega, Alejandro
  19. How Has the Decline in Assumed Returns Affected Plan Costs? By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Alicia H. Munnell; Kevin Wandrei
  20. Age civil, âge social et âge biologique By Isabelle Séguy; Daniel Courgeau; Henri Caussinus; Luc Buchet
  21. Maintaining Target Allocations: Effects on Plan Performance By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Kevin Wandrei
  22. Variation in end-of-life hospital spending in England: Evidence from linked survey and administrative data By George Stoye; Tom Lee
  23. Le financement de l'aide à l'autonomie : Comment adapter notre système de protection sociale au défi du vieillissement? By Roméo Fontaine
  24. Filial caregiving for the disabled elderly: the role of contextual interactions By Louis Arnault; Roméo Fontaine
  25. How Did Computerization Since the 1980s Affect Older Workers? By Anek Belbase; Anqi Chen
  26. Life expectancy, adult mortality and completeness of death counts in Brazil and regions: comparative analysis of IHME, IBGE and other researchers estimates of levels and trends By Queiroz, Bernardo L; Gonzaga, Marcos Roberto; Nogales, Ana Maria; Torrente, Bruno; de Abreu, Daisy Maria Xavier
  27. Impact of Public Sector Assumed Returns on Investment Choices By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Caroline V. Crawford

  1. By: Laura D. Quinby; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher; Jean-Pierre Aubry
    Abstract: The stock market crash of 2008 substantially reduced the funded status of state and local pensions, prompting many sponsors to cut benefit levels. Common changes have included increasing the normal retirement age, reducing the monthly benefit th at workers will receive when they retire, requiring employees to contribute more to the pension fund, and reducing post-retirement cost-of-living adjustments. It is well known that pensions are a significant component of public sector compensation. Hence, without offsetting wage increases, recent pension cuts may make public sector employers less competitive in the la bor market. This brief investigates whether such an effect has occurred. The discussion is organized as follows. The first section describes several common pension reductions and outlines reasons why pension cuts may affect worker recruitment and retention. The second section explains the methodology used to estimate the relat ionship between pension cuts and the labor market competitiveness of public sector employment. The third section presents results from this exercise and finds that workers hired after benefit cuts had earned less in the private sector than similar worke rs hired before the cuts occurred. The final section concludes that pension cuts appear to reduce the ability of public sector employers to compete with private sector employers for workers. While future research should continue to explore this area, the finding does indicate that states and localities should at least consider how pension cuts might affect recrui tment and retention.
  2. By: Lassila, Jukka; Valkonen, Tarmo
    Abstract: Abstract Ageing populations pose a major challenge for long-term sustainability of public finances. The respond has been a wave of pension reforms that has lowered markedly the projected pension expenditure in EU countries. The increase in the second major expenditure item, health and long-term care costs, has become the most important element of fiscal sustainability gaps. We compare different demography-based approaches generally used to evaluate the costs. The interaction of different projection approaches and demography is illustrated by using realizations of a stochastic population projection as inputs in a numerical expenditure model. Our example country is Finland. Our results show that considering the effects of proximity to death on the expenditure generates markedly slower expected expenditure growth for the health and long-term care costs than using age-specific costs or the method developed and used by the European Commission and the Finnish Ministry of Finance. In addition, the sensitivity of the expenditure projections to demographic risks is lower. The differences in the outcomes of the different approaches are largest in long-term care costs, which are in any case growing faster in Finland than the health care expenditure because on population ageing.
    Keywords: Population ageing, Demographic uncertainty, Health care costs, Long-term care costs
    JEL: H55 H68 J11
    Date: 2019–12–20
  3. By: Alicia H. Munnell; Anqi Chen
    Abstract: The option to claim Social Security benefits at any age from 62 to 70 – with actuarial adjustments designed o keep lifetime benefits constant for an individual ith average life expectancy – is a key feature of the rogram. The actuarial adjustments, however, are decades old and do not reflect improvements in longevity or other important developments over that time. The option to claim early was introduced over 60 years ago, when Congress set 62 as the program’s Earliest Age of Eligibility. Those claiming at 62 receive 20 percent less in monthly benefits than if they had waited until 65 to claim. The option to claim between 65 and 70 on an actuarially fair basis stems from the 1983 Social Security amendments, which gradually increased the annual “delayed retirement credit” from 3 percent to 8 percent. Much has changed since these actuarial adjustments were introduced: interest rates have declined; life expectancy has increased; and longevity improvements have been much greater for higher earners than lower earners. In the wake of these developments, this brief explores whether the historical adjustments are still actuarially correct. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section provides a brief history of the Social Security benefit adjustments. The second section explains how increasing life expectancy and declining interest rates would call for smaller reductions for early claiming and a smaller delayed retirement credit for later claiming. The third section explores the extent to which existing adjustments deviate from actuarially fair magnitudes, finding that the reduction for early claiming – initially about right – is now too large, while the delayed retirement credit – initially too small – is now about right. The fourth section moves from the average worker to explore the impact of the actuarial adjustments on workers at various earnings levels given the disparity in longevity improvements. The final section concludes that the adjustment factors now favor delayed claiming and, as a result, increasingly benefit higher earners.
    Date: 2019–11
  4. By: Thomas F. Cooley; Espen Henriksen; Charlie Nusbaum
    Abstract: Since the early 1990’s the growth rates of the four largest European economies—France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom—have slowed. This persistent slowdown suggests a low-frequency structural change is at work. A combination of longer individual life expectancies and declining fertility have led to gradually ageing populations. Demographic change affects economic growth directly through households savings and labor supply decisions and also growth indirectly through the pension systems and the need to fund them. Tax increases to balance budgets will impose additional distortions to individual factor-supply choices. We quantify the growth effects from aging and from the financing of public pensions, and we estimate the welfare gains from pension reforms.
    JEL: E6 O4 O52
    Date: 2019–11
  5. By: Alicia H. Munnell; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher; Abigail N. Walters
    Abstract: Nontraditional jobs – defined here as jobs without health and retirement benefits – are on the rise, and this trend extends to older workers as well as the young. But the impact of this trend depends on how long the jobs last and what older workers do subsequently. If older workers end up in nontraditional work for much of their later careers, then the lack of benefits will put their retirements at risk. If, instead, they use nontraditional jobs only temporarily before returning to traditional work or as a bridge to retirement, these jobs may offer the flexibility that enables them to keep working and improve their retirement prospects. To address these issues, this brief, which summarizes a recent study, follows workers from ages 50-62 in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to identify how they use nontraditional jobs and the effect of these employment patterns on their retirement security. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section clarifies how the “no-benefits” definition of nontraditional work used in this analysis relates to other, more job-based, definitions. The second section describes a technique called sequence analysis, which allows for grouping the sample workers together by similar employment patterns based on how they use nontraditional work. The third section identifies the socioeconomic characteristics of the group that uses nontraditional work most frequently. The fourth section estimates, for all groups in the sequence analysis, how the different work patterns affect retirement security. The final section concludes that just 26 percent of the workers in the sample are in a traditional job with benefits throughout their 50s and early 60s, and that nontraditional jobs are clustered among frequent users rather than serving as a temporary landing spot or a bridge job for workers more generally. The group that works consistently in nontraditional jobs ends up with about 25 percent less in retirement income than those consistently in traditional jobs.
    Date: 2019–10
  6. By: Andrew D. Biggs; Alicia H. Munnell; Anqi Chen
    Abstract: For most workers, 401(k)/IRA assets represent the main source of retirement savings outside of Social Security. These accounts can generate significant wealth if workers contribute consistently from a young age, keep their money in their accounts, and minimize their investment fees. However, most workers have 401(k)/IRA balances at retirement that are substantially below their potential. For example, a 25-year-old median earner in 1981 who contributed regularly would have accumulated about $364,000 by age 60, but the typical 60-year-old with a 401(k) in 2016 had less than $100,000. This brief, which is based on a recent paper, explores the reasons for this gap between potential and actual balances. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section identifies four factors – immaturity of the 401(k) system, lack of universal coverage, leakages, and fees – that might explain why 401(k)/IRA balances fall below their potential. The second section describes the data and the methodology used to estimate the role of each factor. The third section discusses the results, which show that the immaturity of the system and the lack of universal coverage are the main culprits, followed by leakages, and finally fees. The final section concludes that, without a significant effort to cover the uncovered, a large gap between potential and actual accumulations will persist even after the system matures.
    Date: 2019–11
  7. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Caroline V. Crawford
    Abstract: U.S. state and local pension funds manage over $4 trillion in retirement assets for 20 million active and retired plan members. Given the significance of these funds, proper oversight is vitally important to government officials, plan participants, and taxpayers alike. The challenges to effective pension fund governance have been well documented, and significant research has demonstrated that the characteristics of pension boards matter. This brief summarizes public pension fund governance, discusses key aspects of public pension boards, and presents additional evidence that a well-designed board relates to better plan outcomes. The brief proceeds as follows. The first section provides background on the primary responsibilities and authority entrusted to public pension boards. The second section discusses key factors that influence board effectiveness – structure, composition, size, and member tenure. The third section builds a “Board Effectiveness Index” by scoring plans across these factors, and demonstrates a positive relationship between the Index and plan 10-year investment returns. The final section concludes that public pension funds may be best served by taking a holistic view of the many aspects of a board that contribute to its effectiveness, rather than focusing on any single feature.
    Date: 2019–08
  8. By: Nakajima, Makoto (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Telyukova, Irina A. (Mulligan Funding)
    Abstract: Retired homeowners dissave more slowly than renters, which suggests that homeownership affects retirees’ saving decisions. We investigate empirically and theoretically the life-cycle patterns of homeownership, housing and nonhousing assets in retirement. Using an estimated structural model of saving and housing decisions, we find, first, that homeowners dissave slowly because they prefer to stay in their house as long as possible but cannot easily borrow against it. Second, the 1996-2006 housing boom significantly increased homeowners’ assets. These channels are quantitatively significant; without considering homeownership, retirees’ net worth would be 28-44 percent lower, depending on age.
    Keywords: Housing; Retirement Saving Puzzle; Mortgage; Health; Life cycle; Medical expenditure; Bequest
    JEL: D91 E21 G11 J26
    Date: 2019–12–09
  9. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Caroline V. Crawford; Alicia H. Munnell
    Abstract: The last comprehensive review of locally adminstered plans in this series found that their funded status – as of 2011 – lagged behind that of state pension plans. Yet much has happened in the public pension landscape since. Plans administered at both the state and local levels have passed a spate of reforms to control rising pension costs and to limit liability growth. This brief uses the most recent data available – from 2015 and 2016 – to assess the current status of local plans. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section briefly describes the universe of local plans and the sample of plans used in this study. The second section compares trends in the funded status for state and local plans. While local plans have histo rically trailed states, their funding gap is slowly closing. To better understand this pattern, the third and fourth sections examine two key determinants of the funded status: required contributions and investment returns. The final section concludes t hat although local plans have paid more of their actuarially required contributions than state plans, relatively poor returns limited their ability to close the gap in the past. More recently, however, local plans have experienced higher actual returns relative to state plans, in part, due to a smaller allocation to alternative investments. As a result, the gap in funded status between the two groups is shrinking.
  10. By: Gabriela Dubcová (University of Economics in Bratislava); ?ubica Foltínová (University of Economics in Bratislava)
    Abstract: Education of the adult population - very important permanent process for the development of each country and sustainable successful development of each population. Active Aging and Education of the Adult Population. Global Population Pyramid in 2002 and 2025. Global Population Pyramid in 2002 and 2025. Determinants of Active Ageing. Principles of Active Ageing. Challenges of Adult Learning. Characteristics of Adult Education. Scope of adult education. Principles of Adult Education. Reasons for Education of the Adult Population. Standards for Adult Education. Advantages and Barriers of Adult Education. Educational Policies for Education of the Adult Population. Principle of Functioning Model of Education for Adults. Real Results of Adult Education in Practice. Conclusions and Recommendations.
    Keywords: Adult Population, Education for Adults, Active Ageing, Adult Learning, Educational Policies, Lifelong Learning
    JEL: I23 I25
    Date: 2019–10
  11. By: Kohei Okada (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University,)
    Abstract: Employing an overlapping-generations model of R&D-based growth with endogenous fertil- ity, mortality, and education choice, we examine how demographic changes and human capital accumulation influence R&D activity. We show that multiple steady states can exist in this economy. One steady state has a high level of human capital and the other has a low level. In the steady state with high (low) level of human capital, there is a high (low) level of R&D activity, a low (high) fertility rate, and a high (low) old-age survival rate. In addition, we show that the government can steer an economy away from a poverty trap trajectory by investing in public health. We also show that an improvement in the government's public health policy has an inverted U-shaped effect on the growth rate at the steady state.
    Keywords: Demographic change, Human capital accumulation, R&D
    JEL: I25 J10 O10 O30
    Date: 2019–12
  12. By: Alicia H. Munnell; Wenliang Hou; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher
    Abstract: The National Retirement Risk Index (NRRI) shows that half of today’s working families are at risk of not being able to maintain their standard of living once they retire. This result is not surprising since at any given point about half of private sector workers do not have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and many who do have a plan end up saving relatively little. The question is how would additional saving affect the NRRI? The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section recaps the nuts and bolts of the NRRI. The second section reports the impact on the NRRI of increasing contribution rates for both 401(k) participants and for workers without a workplace retirement plan. The third section discusses why the impact appears to be relatively modest. The fourth section shows that the only way to dramatically reduce the percentage of households at risk is to combine the additional saving with two more years of work. The final section provides two main conclusions. First, increasing saving is a realistic option only for those workers who have access to a retirement plan at work. In the absence of such coverage, millions of households have no easy way to save. Second, realistic increases in saving alone are not likely to solve the retirement crisis, but when combined with working two years longer can significantly reduce the share of households at risk.
    Date: 2019–10
  13. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Caroline V. Crawford; Kevin Wandrei
    Abstract: In fiscal year 2017, the aggregate funded ratio for state and local pension plans under traditional government accounting rules was 72 percent, largely unchanged from the past several years. However, this stability belies growing disparities in individual plan funding. While plans with extremely low funded ratios garner most of the public spotlight, a sizable shar e of plans are well-funded and financially stable. As such, much can be learned from analyzing trends for specific groups of plans that underlie the aggregate story. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section provides an update of the aggregate funded level for 2017 based on the most recent reports from the 180 plans in the Public Plans Database. The second section divides the sample of plans into thirds ba sed on their 2017 funded ratio, and traces the history of funding for each group. The data show that the average funded ratios for each third were relatively similar in 2001, but have diverged since. The third section investigates potential reasons for this divergence by reviewing each group’s benefit levels, funding discipline, and investment returns from 2001-2017. The fourth section projects future funded levels in aggregate. The final section concludes that the top third of plans should remain on track if they maintain their current course while the bottom third will likely need to make major changes. One concern that all plans share is the possibility of a market downturn, which could set back funding for several years.
    Date: 2018–10
  14. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Kevin Wandrei
    Abstract: Public pension funding is the product of two key factors: required contributions and investment returns. Since higher returns reduce the burden of contributions (on plan sponsors, participants and, ultimately, taxpayers), achieving adequate returns is critical to funding future benefits. This brief provides an update on the investment performance of U.S. public pension plans since 2001 and introduces new Governmental Accounting Standards Board reporting on the fair value methods of pension plan assets.
    Date: 2019–09
  15. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Kevin Wandrei
    Abstract: Public pension funding is the product of two key factors: required contributions and investment returns. Since higher returns reduce the burden of contributions (on plan sponsors, participants and, ultimately, taxpayers), achieving adequate retu rns is critical to funding future benefits. This brief provides an update on the investment performance of U.S. public pension plans since 2001 and introduces new Governmental Accounting Standards Board reporting on the fair value methods of pension pla n assets.
    Date: 2019–09
  16. By: Laura D. Quinby; Gal Wettstein
    Abstract: A number of state and local pension systems have persistently low levels of funding. These poorly funded plans in places like Kentucky, Illinois, and New Jersey may eventually reduce benefits not only for new hires, but also for current employe es. The question is: do cuts to pension benefits encourage a state’s public sector workers to leave for the private sector? This brief, based on a recent paper, evaluates a 2005 reform of the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI) that cut core benefits for state employees and teachers without raising salaries to compensate. It examines whether these benefit cut s for current employees encouraged them to separate from the government, investigates whether teachers (an important and often-studied group) reacted differently to cuts than other workers, and explores the possible consequences for public services. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section outlines Rhode Island’s history of pension reforms and describes the 2005 legislation. The second section introduces the evaluation methodology and quantifies the effect of the 2005 reform on employe e separation. The third section addresses the potential costs of an employee exodus. The final section concludes that benefit cuts encourage government workers to leave their jobs – particularly non-teachers who may have more options in the private se ctor – but that the size of the response is small relative to the budgetary savings from the reform. Nevertheless, government employers should consider the human resource cost of reduced compensation when analyzing potential pension reforms.
    Date: 2019–05
  17. By: John Beshears; James J. Choi; Mark Iwry; David John; David Laibson; Brigitte C. Madrian
    Abstract: Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, carry revolving credit balances, and have little liquidity to absorb financial shocks. One consequence of this financial vulnerability is that many individuals use a portion of their retirement savings during their working years. For every $1 that flows into 401(k)s and similar accounts, between 30¢ and 40¢ leaks out before retirement (Argento, Bryant, and Sabelhaus 2015). We explore the practical considerations and challenges associated with helping households accumulate liquid savings that can be deployed when urgent pre-retirement needs arise. Automatically enrolling workers into an employer-sponsored “rainy-day” or “emergency” savings account—terms that we use interchangeably in this paper—funded by payroll deduction could be a cost-effective way to achieve this goal. We explore three specific implementation options: (a) after-tax employee 401(k) accounts; (b) deemed Roth IRAs under a 401(k) plan; and (c) depository institution accounts. We evaluate the pros and cons of each approach and conclude that all three approaches merit exploration and field testing.
    JEL: D14
    Date: 2019–11
  18. By: Vega, Alejandro (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to analyze the labour force participation response to major health shocks, such as new cancer diagnoses, heart attacks and strokes, in middle- aged to elderly Mexican couples. The data originate from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), and provides information on how couples coordinate their labour market activities in response to major health shocks. I find that female labour force participation is negatively affected by a major health shock to her spouse. In contrast, there is not a significant effect of a female negative health shock on her spouse’s labour force participation. I find the same result when the labour force participation is split between part-time work and full-time work.
    Keywords: health shock; labour force participation; household model; labour supply; elderly couples
    JEL: I10 J01
    Date: 2019–12–09
  19. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Alicia H. Munnell; Kevin Wandrei
    Abstract: Many state and local pension plans have lowered their long-term investment return assumptions in the wake of the financial crisis. Such a change is generally viewed as a positive development for pension funding discipline, bringing assumptions more in line with market expectations and forcing plan sponsors to increase annual required contributions. In this case, however, the decline is actually due to lower assumed inflation, not a lower real return (that is, the return net of inflation). I n a fully-indexed system where benefits fully adjust with inflation, a lower inflation assumption should actually have no impact on costs. At the same time, plans have changed their asset allocation, resulting in a higher expected real return, which – all else equal – lowers costs. Therefore, a quick assessment of these underlying assumption changes suggests that plans may have actually lowered their costs with the decline in the assumed return. But, public plan benefits are not fully indexed, so t he real value of benefits increases as the inflation expectation drops, which increases plan costs. This brief explains the overall impact of these opposing dynamics and compares the net effect on costs with that produced by a lower real return assumpt ion. The brief proceeds as follows. The first section documents the impact of declining inflation on assumed returns and explains why lower inflation has no impact on costs if benefits are fully linked to inflation. The second section shows that public plan benefits are not fully linked to inflation, so that a lower inflation assumption leads to higher real benefits and plan costs. The third section describes the increase in plans’ expected real rate of return, which lowers costs. The fourth section puts the pieces together – finding that plan costs have increased because the lack of full indexing dwarfs the impact of the higher real return. The increase, however, is substantially less than if plans had lowered their real return assumption. The final section concludes that it is important to identify the source of a decline in assumed returns because lower inflation and lower real returns have different effects on costs.
    Date: 2019–06
  20. By: Isabelle Séguy; Daniel Courgeau; Henri Caussinus; Luc Buchet
    Keywords: Paléodémographie, âge civil, âge social, âge biologique, population inhumée, Ile-de-France, Champagne-Ardenne, AGE / AGE, PALEODEMOGRAPHIE / PALEODEMOGRAPHY, AGE AU DECES / AGE AT DEATH, ILE-DE-FRANCE (REGION) / ILE-DE-FRANCE, CHAMPAGNE-ARDENNE (REGION) / CHAMPAGNE-ARDENNE
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Kevin Wandrei
    Abstract: State and local government pension funds currently manage about $4 trillion in assets for the nearly 20 million plan members. Generally, a plan’s board of directors establishes the fund’s target asset allocation, and the allowable ranges around those targets, based on input from outside investment consultants as well as the plan’s own investment staff. But managing the asset allocation is the complex task given to the chief investment officer (CIO). When investment performance causes the asset allocation to diverge from the targets, the CIO shifts money across various asset classes to bring the allocation back to the target – a practice known as rebalancing. Additionally, a CIO must navigate changes to target allocations that occur when plans periodically review and update their investment strategy – all the while keeping in mind the incoming contributions and upcoming benefit payouts for the plan. This brief describes the trends in target allocations for public plans, models their annual cash flows across major asset classes, and considers how different allocation styles within the target ranges might affect overall plan performance. The brief proceeds as follows. The first section discusses target allocation policies for traditional stocks and bonds, as well as more illiquid assets such as private equity and real estate. The second section examines annual cash flows by asset class be tween 2001 and 2017. It finds that, due to shifting target allocations, many plans were net sellers of equities during the financial crisis, which locked in losses and partially excluded them from the subsequent rebound. The third section investigates t he potential impact of allocation style on plan performance. The final section concludes that, during the period studied, target allocations mattered a lot for plan performance, and the adjustments available to CIOs had only a modest impact.
    Date: 2019–04
  22. By: George Stoye (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Tom Lee (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: Much of lifetime healthcare spending is concentrated at the end of life. This paper uses survey data linked to administrative hospital and mortality records to examine how the pattern of end-of-life hospital inpatient spending varies across di?erent groups within a large public hospital system in England. In line with existing studies we ?nd that spending rises sharply at the end of life even after controlling for changes in health, but the pattern of these increases varies across household composition and socioeconomic status. Quarterly spending increases more sharply for those in couples at the end of life: a 10% reduction in time to death is associated with a 10% rise in individual spending among couples, but only 8% for singles. Spending is also lower in the last 18 months of life for those with no formal quali?cations relative to their more educated peers due to lower use of elective care. Di?erences across groups are not explained by di?erences in observed morbidity or cause of death, but could be explained by di?erential access to, or preferences for, care. These results suggest that policymakers should consider broader trends in sociodemographic attributes when forecasting future health spending and in evaluating inequity in healthcare use.
    Date: 2019–09–12
  23. By: Roméo Fontaine
    Date: 2018
  24. By: Louis Arnault; Roméo Fontaine
    Abstract: The economic literature extensively outlines a future decline in family support for the disabled elderly. However, the existing literature overlooks the existence of contextual interactions in the family, ignoring that factors reducing the caregiving supply from some potential caregivers may simultaneously increase the propensity of others becoming involved in caregiving, through an intrafamily offset mechanism. Thus, contextual interactions are likely to moderate the impact of changes in the family network on filial caregiving. Using French cross-sectional data from the 2008 Disability and Health Survey, our empirical analysis confirms the importance of considering contextual interactions when investigating filial caregiving: children become involved in care more often when they have fewer siblings, when siblings participate in the labour market or when they live far away from the parent. Gender differences in contextual interactions also indicate that changes in the family network are likely to reduce the existing gender inequalities in filial caregiving.
    Date: 2018
  25. By: Anek Belbase; Anqi Chen
    Abstract: Laborsaving machines, from the cotton gin to automotive robots, have dramatically reduced the amount of human effort needed to produce goods and services. And despite anxiety about machine-driven mass unemployment, workers replaced by machines have not remained idle over the long term. Instead, they have found jobs in growing industries by learning to perform new tasks. But these transitions have not always been easy, especially for older workers Ð who have considerable knowledge tied to their current job and a shorter period over which to benefit from new skills. As machines rapidly take on new tasks, from serving coffee to diagnosing cancer, will older workers continue to find jobs that make use of their skills? For the many people who need to work into their late 60s to afford to retire, the stakes are high. This brief is the second in a three-part series on how increasingly capable machines might affect job prospects for older workers in the near future. The first brief reviewed the impact of different types of laborsaving machines over the past two centuries. Since computers are the machines that continue to define our times, this brief reviews their impact on older workers starting in the 1980s. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section explains how machines can create short-term winners or losers depending on the tasks that the machines take on. The second section describes how computers took on ÒroutineÓ tasks, which affected workers differently by their education level. The third section analyzes whether these effects extended to workers ages 55-64, and concludes that they did. Across age groups, computers have largely benefited workers with a college degree and computer skills, but made it harder for workers with less education to find good jobs. A shrinking gap between the education level and computer knowledge of young and old workers helps explain their similar outcomes. The final section looks ahead to the next brief, which addresses whether the current pattern will continue as computers become more sophisticated.
    Date: 2019–12
  26. By: Queiroz, Bernardo L (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil); Gonzaga, Marcos Roberto; Nogales, Ana Maria; Torrente, Bruno; de Abreu, Daisy Maria Xavier
    Abstract: Estimates of completeness of death registration are crucial to produce estimates of life tables, population projections and to the global burden of diseases study. They are an imperative step in quality of data analysis. In the case of state level data in Brazil, it is important to consider spatial and temporal variation in the quality of mortality data. In this paper, we compare and discuss alternative estimates of completeness of death registration, adult mortality (45q15) and life expectancy estimates produced by the National Statistics Office (IBGE), Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and estimates presented in Queiroz, (2017) and Schmertmann and Gonzaga (2018), for 1980 and 2010. We find significant differences in estimates that affect both levels and trends of completeness of adult mortality in Brazil and states. IHME and Queiroz, (2017) estimates converge in 2010, but there are large differences when compared to estimates from the National Statistics Office (IBGE). Larger differences are observed for less developed states.
    Date: 2019–05–02
  27. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Caroline V. Crawford
    Abstract: State and local pension plans use their assumed investment return -- 7.4 percent, on average, in 2017-- to value liabilities and calculate required contributions. Prior studies have suggested that this practice results in overly risky portfolios as plan sponsors seek higher returns to reduce their repo rted liabilities and required contributions. A separate, but related, issue is that – for any given asset allocation – this use of the assumed return could also provide an incentive for plans to take a rosy view of future returns for their investment portfolio. Given these concerns, this brief investigates two questions. First, does using the assumed return to value liabilities and set contributions lead to riskier asset allocation? Seco nd, given the asset allocations of public plans, are their assumed returns overly optimistic? The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section introduces the data and methodology, explaining why comparing public plans to private plans is useful for this analysis. The second section explores the hypothesis that using the assumed return to valu e liabilities and set contribution targets leads to riskier asset allocation. Given their allocation, the third section explores whether public plan return assumptions are reasonable by comparing them to those of investment experts. The final section conclu des that public plans invest in riskier assets than private plans – and that much of the difference is related to unobservable differences between the sectors, including how they use the assumed return. Additionally, given the asset allocation of public plans, their return expectations are on the optimistic end of the assumptions of investment experts.
    Date: 2019–01

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