nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2022‒05‒30
seven papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Changes in Retirement Savings During the COVID Pandemic By Elena Derby; Lucas Goodman; Kathleen Mackie; Jacob Mortenson
  2. A Comparative Perspective on Long-Term Care Systems By Kotschy, Rainer; Bloom, David E.
  3. Gender wage and longevity gaps and the design of retirement systems By Francesca Barigozzi; Helmuth Cremer; Jean-Marie Lozachmeur
  4. Inequality, life expectancy, and the intragenerational redistribution puzzle: Some experimental evidence By Krieger, Tim; Meemann, Christine; Traub, Stefan
  5. The Role of Employment Protection Legislation Regimes in Shaping the Impact of Job Disruption on Older Workers' Mental Health in Times of COVID-19 By Di Novi, Cinzia; Paruolo, Paolo; Verzillo, Stefano
  6. Does Fertility Matter for Middle Aged and Older Adults’ Risk Attitudes? By Ho, Christine; Teerawichitchainan, Bussarawan; Tan, Joanne; Tan, Eugene Rui Le
  7. Little Divergence in America — Market Access and Demographic Transition in the United States By Guldi, Melanie; Rahman, Ahmed S.

  1. By: Elena Derby; Lucas Goodman; Kathleen Mackie; Jacob Mortenson
    Abstract: This paper documents changes in retirement saving patterns at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We construct a large panel of U.S. tax data, including tens of millions of person-year observations, and measure retirement savings contributions and withdrawals. We use these data to document several important changes in retirement savings patterns during the pandemic relative to the years preceding the pandemic or the Great Recession. First, unlike during the Great Recession, contributions to retirement savings vehicles did not meaningfully decline. Second, driven by the suspension of required minimum distribution rules, IRA withdrawals substantially declined in 2020 for those older than age 72. Third, potentially driven by job-separation induced leakage and suspension of the early withdrawal penalty, employer-plan withdrawals increased for those under age 60.
    Date: 2022–04
  2. By: Kotschy, Rainer (Harvard School of Public Health); Bloom, David E. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates challenges of aging for long-term care. Our analysis proceeds in three steps. In the first step, we estimate the prospective care demand for 30 developed countries based on projected aging and disabilities among the elderly. In the second step, we outline challenges for care systems with respect to shortages of care workers, increasing skill requirements for care workers, barriers to universal and equitable access to care, and cost containment subject to adequate care quality. In the third step, we identify solutions for these challenges by comparing the care systems of Germany, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, and South Korea.
    Keywords: long-term care insurance, population aging, care demand, ADL, IADL
    JEL: I18 I38 H51 H75
    Date: 2022–04
  3. By: Francesca Barigozzi (UNIBO - Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna); Helmuth Cremer (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Jean-Marie Lozachmeur (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We study the design of pension benets for male and female workers. Women live longer than men but have a lower wage. Individuals can be single or live in couples who pool their incomes. Social welfare is utilitarian but an increasing concave transformation of individuals lifetime utilities introduces the concern for redistribution between individuals with di¤erent life-spans. We derive the optimal direction of redistribution and show how it is a¤ected by a gender neutrality rule. With singles only, a simple utilitarian solution implies re- distribution from males to females. When the transformation is su¢ ciently concave redistribution may or may not be reversed. With couples only, the ranking of gender retirement ages is always reversed when the transformation is su¢ ciently concave. Under gender neutrality pension schemes must be self-selecting. With singles only this implies distortions of retirement decision and restricts redistribution across genders. With couples, a rst best that implies a lower retirement age for females can be implemented by a gender-neutral system. Otherwise, gender neutrality implies equal retirement ages and restricts the possibility to compensate the shorter-lived individuals. Calibrated simulations show that when singles and couples coexist, gender neutrality substantially limits redistribution in favor of single women and fully prevents redistribution in favor of male spouses.
    Keywords: Retirement systems,Gender gap in longevity,Gender wage gap
    Date: 2022–04–04
  4. By: Krieger, Tim; Meemann, Christine; Traub, Stefan
    Abstract: In most OECD countries, pension reform policy has decreased the level of intragenerational redistribution over the last three decades, that is, redistribution among members of the same generation with high and low pension entitlements. This trend has occurred despite heterogeneity in life expectancy linked to socioeconomic status having a regressive impact on outcomes. This paper contributes to solving this puzzle by means of a controlled laboratory experiment. We study the causal relationship between inequality of entitlements, mortality risk, and the size of redistribution in a stylized social security system. We find that mortality risk, when negatively correlated with entitlements, significantly lowers subjects' willingness to redistribute payoffs from high-entitlement to low-entitlement subjects. We explain this finding with efficiency preferences and an alienation effect. The alienation effect is the tendency to attach a lower social weight to the short-lived poor.
    Keywords: Inequality,Life Expectancy,Risk,Redistribution,Pension Reform,Efficiency Preferences,Alienation Effect,Experiment
    JEL: D63 D81 H55 I14
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Di Novi, Cinzia (European Commission); Paruolo, Paolo (European Commission); Verzillo, Stefano (European Commission)
    Abstract: This study exploits individual data from the 8th wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the SHARE Corona Survey to investigate the mental health consequences of COVID-19 job disruption across different European countries. It focuses on older workers (aged 50 and over) who were exposed to a higher risk of infection from COVID-19 and were also more vulnerable to the risk of long-term unemployment and permanent labour market exits during economic downturns. The relationship between job disruption in times of COVID-19 and older workers' mental health is investigated using differences in country-level employment legislation regimes in the EU. European countries are clustered into three macro-regions with high, intermediate and low employment regulatory protection regulations, using the Employment Protection Legislation (EPL) aggregate score proposed by the OECD. Results reveal a clear EPL gradient: job disruption has a positive and significant impact on older workers' psychological distress especially in those countries where EPL is more binding. The present findings suggest possible mitigating measures for older unemployed in the EU countries with higher Employment Protection legislation.
    Keywords: European Countries; COVID-19 pandemic; job disruption; mental health; older workers; EPL
    JEL: I14 I18 J08
    Date: 2022–04
  6. By: Ho, Christine (Singapore Management University); Teerawichitchainan, Bussarawan (National University of Singapore); Tan, Joanne (Singapore Management University); Tan, Eugene Rui Le (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: Given that risk attitudes influence many decisions, it is important to understand the factors that shape such attitudes in late adulthood, when individuals face important risky decisions. While research finds that parenthood tends to correlate with lower risk tolerance in western countries, there is a lacuna on whether such associations persist in late adulthood, and are applicable to the Asian context, where children are conventionally considered a linchpin of old age support. Data for middle aged and older individuals come from the nationwide Singapore Life Panel (N = 6,740). Multivariate statistical analyses are employed to estimate the associations between willingness to take risks (in the general, financial, and health domains) with parenthood status and the number of children. We control for potential confounders and employ a two-stage least squares approach to mitigate potential selection issues. Older mothers tend to be less risk tolerant than older childless women across the three risk domains. Conversely, mothers with more children tend to be more risk tolerant compared to mothers with fewer children. There is no evidence that older men’s risk attitudes vary with parenthood status and family size.
    Date: 2022–03–01
  7. By: Guldi, Melanie (University of Central Florida); Rahman, Ahmed S. (Lehigh University)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the causal impact of greater market access on demographic transition during the latter half of the 19th century in the United States. We construct new measures of fertility changes and measures of railroad access at the county level from 1850 – 1890. We are able to document market-access-induced changes in fertility due to both extensive margins (shifts in occupations with different average fertility rates) and intensive margins (changes in fertility within each occupation class). Both our theoretical model and empirical results suggest that declining fertility in counties mainly occurred through extensive margins. We further discover that fertility changes occurred mainly through strengthening patterns of specialization, rather than through greater industrialization or urbanization, suggesting that demographics diverged within the United States during this period.
    Keywords: demographic transition, market access, railroads, fertility, agricultural production, manufacturing production
    JEL: J11 J13 N11 N31
    Date: 2022–04

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