nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2020‒02‒24
ten papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Policies for Switzerland’s ageing society By Christine Lewis; Patrice Ollivaud
  2. Health Inequality among Chinese Older Adults: The Role of Childhood Circumstances By Yan, Binjian; Chen, Xi; Gill, Thomas M.
  3. The Graying of American Debt By Wilbert Van der Klaauw; Donghoon Lee; Meta Brown; Joelle Scally; Katherine Strair
  4. Maintaining high employment in Norway By Urban Sila; Philip Hemmings
  5. Working and disability expectancies at old ages: the role of childhood circumstances and education By Angelo Lorenti; Christian Dudel; Jo Mhairi Hale; Mikko Myrskylä
  6. What Does a Job Candidate's Age Signal to Employers? By Van Borm, Hannah; Burn, Ian; Baert, Stijn
  7. Should the Government be Paying Investment Fees on $3 Trillion of Tax-Deferred Retirement Assets? By Mattia Landoni; Stephen P. Zeldes
  8. An age-at-death distribution approach to forecast cohort mortality By Ugofilippo Basellini; Søren Kjærgaard; Carlo Giovanni Camarda
  9. Influence in Economics and Aging By Jelnov, Pavel; Weiss, Yoram
  10. Gendered economic determinants of couple formation over 50 in France By Carole Bonnet; Fanny Godet; Anne Solaz

  1. By: Christine Lewis; Patrice Ollivaud
    Abstract: Swiss society is ageing. At the same time, life expectancy is increasing. With most workers retiring around age 65, time in retirement is growing and the ratio of retirees to employees is set to soar. These developments bring a range of opportunities but will likely weigh on growth in GDP per capita and increase public spending. They may also widen existing inequalities. This paper highlights three key policy challenges to preserve high living standards in coming decades. First, the pension system ensures good retirement incomes despite a lack of reforms. However, reforms are urgently needed as the system is under increasing pressure. Second, a range of disincentives and barriers in the labour market and tax system contribute to early retirement and involuntary retirement. Boosting employability at older ages and broadening older workers’ options would dampen the economic impact of ageing. Third, the Swiss health system delivers good outcomes but at a higher cost than other countries, and ageing will only exacerbate the associated pressures. Cost containment and improved co-ordination are vital. Adjusting the financing of long-term care could improve access and the overall quality of long-term care.
    Keywords: healthcare, labour market, long-term care, long-term projections, pension system, population ageing, Switzerland
    JEL: J26 J11 I18
    Date: 2020–02–10
  2. By: Yan, Binjian (Nanjing University); Chen, Xi (Yale University); Gill, Thomas M. (Yale University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the extent to which childhood circumstances contribute to health inequality in old age and how the contributions may vary across key dimensions of health. We link the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) in 2013 and 2015 with its Life History Survey in 2014 to quantify health inequality due to childhood circumstances for which they have little control. We evaluate comprehensive dimensions of health ranging from cognitive health, mental health, physical health, self-rated health to mortality. Our analytic sample includes about 8,000 Chinese persons age above 60. Using the Shapley value decomposition approach, we first show that childhood circumstances may explain 1-23 percent of health inequality in old age across multiple health outcomes. Second, while both direct health-related circumstances and indirect health-related circumstances contribute significantly to health inequality, the latter tends to be more sizable. Our findings support the value of a life course approach in identifying the key determinants of health in old age.
    Keywords: life course approach, inequality of opportunity, physical health, cognitive ability, mental health, mortality
    JEL: I14 D63 I18 J13 J14
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Wilbert Van der Klaauw; Donghoon Lee; Meta Brown; Joelle Scally; Katherine Strair
    Abstract: The U.S. population is aging and so are its debts. In this post, we use the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, which is based on Equifax credit data, to look at how debt is changing as baby boomers reach retirement age and millennials find their footing. We find that aggregate debt balances held by younger borrowers have declined modestly from 2003 to 2015, with a debt portfolio reallocation away from credit card, auto, and mortgage debt, toward student debt. Debt held by borrowers between the ages of 50 and 80, however, increased by roughly 60 percent over the same time period. This shifting of debt from younger to older borrowers is of obvious relevance to markets fueled by consumer credit. It is also relevant from a loan performance perspective as consumer debt payments are being made by older debtors than ever before.
    Keywords: Repayment; Aging; Household debt
    JEL: D1 R3
  4. By: Urban Sila; Philip Hemmings
    Abstract: Norway has a well-functioning labour market with high employment and a compressed wage distribution, contributing to low inequality. Norway nevertheless faces challenges from a trend decline in employment rates among the young and prime-age men. Furthermore, immigrants and people with disabilities have significantly poorer labour market outcomes than rest of the population. Norway still faces comparatively high sick-leave absence and the share of the working-age population on disability support remains large. Relatively high school dropout rates are also of concern, in particular as opportunities for workers with low educational attainment are limited in the Norwegian labour market. This paper first describes the labour market and identifies its main strengths and weaknesses and then goes on to discussing policy areas to boost employment and ensure quality jobs for the future. These include reforms to i) sick-leave compensation and disability support, ii) early retirement incentives in old-age pensions; iii) education and skills; and, iv) integration of immigrants.
    Keywords: ageing, disability, education, employment, immigrants, integration, labour market, Norway, pensions, retirement, sick leave, skills
    JEL: H53 H55 I2 J2 J3 J6
    Date: 2020–02–10
  5. By: Angelo Lorenti (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Christian Dudel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Jo Mhairi Hale (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: The ability to work at older ages depends on health and education. Both accumulate starting very early in life. We assess how childhood disadvantages combine with education to affect working and health trajectories. Applying multistate period life tables to data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) for the period 2008-2014, we estimate how the residual life expectancy at age 50 is distributed in number of years of work and disability, by number of childhood disadvantages, gender, and race/ethnicity. Our findings indicate that number of childhood disadvantages is negatively associated with work and positively with disability, irrespective of gender and race/ethnicity. Childhood disadvantages intersect with low education resulting in shorter lives, and redistributing life years from work to disability. Among the highly educated, health and work differences between groups of childhood disadvantage are small. Combining multistate models and inverse probability weighting, we show that the return of high education is greater among the most disadvantaged.
    Keywords: USA, disability, early childhood, education, ethnicity, length of working life, Markov chains
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Van Borm, Hannah (Ghent University); Burn, Ian (University of Liverpool); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    Abstract: Research has shown that hiring discrimination is a barrier for older job candidates in many OECD countries. However, little research has delved into why older job candidates are discriminated against. Therefore, we have conducted an online scenario experiment involving recruiters to empirically investigate 15 potential stigma related to older age drawn from a systematic review of the literature. We found that older age particularly signals to recruiters that the applicant has lower technological skill, flexibility, and trainability levels. Together, these perceptions explain about 41% of the effect of age on the probability of being invited to a job interview. In addition, we found that the negative association between age and invitation probability is smaller when recruiters work for firms with a higher percentage of older employees.
    Keywords: hiring, statistical discrimination, age, stereotypes
    JEL: J71 J14 J24 J23
    Date: 2019–12
  7. By: Mattia Landoni; Stephen P. Zeldes
    Abstract: Under standard assumptions, both individuals and the government are indifferent between traditional tax-deferred retirement accounts and “front-loaded” (Roth) accounts. When we add investment fees to this benchmark, individuals are still indifferent but the government is not. We estimate that tax deferral increases demand for asset management services by $3 trillion, causing the government to pay $20.7 billion in corresponding annual fees. In a general equilibrium model with asset management services as differentiated products, we examine the incidence and welfare implications of the added demand. Tax deferral in our model produces a larger asset management industry, higher taxes, and lower social welfare.
    JEL: D14 G11 G23 G28 H21 J26 J32
    Date: 2020–01
  8. By: Ugofilippo Basellini; Søren Kjærgaard; Carlo Giovanni Camarda
    Abstract: Mortality forecasting has received increasing interest during recent decades due to the negative financial effects of continuous longevity improvements on public and private institutions’ liabilities. However, little attention has been paid to forecasting mortality from a cohort perspective. In this article, we introduce a novel methodology to forecast adult cohort mortality from age-at-death distributions. We propose a relational model that associates a time-invariant standard to a series of fully and partially observed distributions. Relation is achieved via a transformation of the age-axis. We show that cohort forecasts can improve our understanding of mortality developments by capturing distinct cohort effects, which might be overlooked by a conventional age-period perspective. Moreover, mortality experiences of partially observed cohorts are routinely completed. We illustrate our methodology on adult female mortality for cohorts born between 1835 and 1970 in two high-longevity countries using data from the Human Mortality Database.
    Keywords: Mortality forecasting, Mortality modelling, Relational models, Cohort life table, Smoothing
    Date: 2020–01–26
  9. By: Jelnov, Pavel (Leibniz University of Hannover); Weiss, Yoram (Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between age and influence in a closed group of 1,000 leading economists. We consider, as a measurement of influence, monthly RePEc rankings. We find that the rankings are not related to age but are related to experience. The optimal level of experience is 30 years from Ph.D. graduation. Additionally, we observe no robust difference in the effect of age and experience between Nobel laureates and leading non-Nobelists. Finally, we find that labor economists enjoy an especially steep improvement in the rankings before they reach the peak; however, the rankings also peak relatively early in their careers.
    Keywords: aging, citations, influence, Nobel, research productivity
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2020–01
  10. By: Carole Bonnet; Fanny Godet; Anne Solaz
    Abstract: Couple formation over 50 has been largely unexplored until now. The lack of literature on this topic especially in France lies in the low number of events for this age group, even if it is increasing. From the Fideli 2016 two-year panel which combines comprehensive income and housing tax returns, we study the determinants of the union between women and men after 50 years (logistic regression), the type of union chosen: marriage, PACS or common-law union (multinomial regression), and the degree of homogamy within these new couples. The probability to form an union is higher for men than for women but sharply decreases with age for both. Previous marital status and income play different roles depending on the sex. Compared to never-married men, widowers are more likely to form a new couple. It is the opposite for women. Divorced men and women more often form a new union than others. While a high income increases the chances of repartnering for men, it decreases them for women. However, the effects of supply (less opportunity on the marriage market) cannot be disentangled from the effects of demand (less willingness and need to form a couple). For low income, forming a couple is one way to increase one's standard of living, at ages when it is difficult to increase the labor market participation. The type of union chosen also differs according to previous marital status and income. Over 50, the ex-spouses are more likely to marry, except for the widows who are the least likely to marry. Income plays positively on the fact of contracting an union for men. For women, the probability to contractualize theirs unions is highest at both ends of the income distribution. Over 50, men enter new unions with younger women and women who have similar levels of income. Women form new partnership with men who earn more than them.
    Keywords: couple, union formation, seniors, elderly, age group over 50, marriage, Pacs, income distibution, PERSONNE AGEE / AGED, COUPLE / COUPLE, REMISE EN COUPLE / REPARTNERING, FORMATION DES COUPLES / UNION FORMATION
    Date: 2019

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