nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2022‒09‒26
eight papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Is the Age Structure of the Population One of the Determinants of the Household Saving Rate in China? A Spatial Panel Analysis of Provincial Data By Charles Yuji Horioka; Luigi Ventura
  2. Early Life Circumstances and the Health of Older Adults: A Research Note By Chen, Xi
  3. Long-term Services and Supports and Disease Management among Older Chinese Adults in Different Stages of Cognitive Impairment By Lin, Zhuoer; Chen, Xi
  4. Homeownership and the Perception of Material Security in Old Age By Garten, Claudius; Myck, Michal; Oczkowska, Monika
  5. Family bargaining and the gender gap in informal care By Cremer, Helmuth; Canta, Chiara
  6. Age-Based Health Insurance Coverage Policies and Mental Health By Yiran Han; Baris K. Yörük
  7. It is Expensive Being Young and Poor or Being Old and in the Middle Class By Christian Scharrer
  8. Care for Elderly Parents: Do Children Cooperate? By Bergeot, J.;

  1. By: Charles Yuji Horioka (Center for Social Systems Innovation and Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University, Asian Growth Research Institute, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, and National Bureau of Economic Research, JAPAN); Luigi Ventura (Department of Economics and Law, Sapienza, University of Rome, ITALY)
    Abstract: In this paper, we use micro data on a large number of European countries from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to examine the wealth accumulation (saving) behavior of the retired elderly in Europe. To summarize our main findings, we find that less than half of the retired elderly in Europe are decumulating their wealth and that the average wealth accumulation rate of the retired elderly in Europe is positive though relatively moderate (6.6% over a 3-year period). These findings strongly suggest that the Wealth Decumulation (or Retirement Saving) Puzzle (the tendency of the retired elderly to not decumulate their wealth or to decumulate their wealth more slowly than expected) applies in the case of Europe. Moreover, our regression results suggest that bequest motives, generous public pension systems, and the reluctance of retired elderly homeowners to sell or borrow against their owner-occupied housing are the primary explanations for the existence of the Wealth Decumulation Puzzle in Europe.
    Keywords: Aged; Bequests; Bequest intentions; Bequest motives; Dissaving; Elderly; Europe; Household saving; Inheritances; Intergenerational transfers; Life cycle model or hypothesis; Precautionary saving; Retired elderly; Retirement Saving Puzzle; saving; SHARE; Wealth accumulation; Wealth decumulation; Wealth Decumulation Puzzle
    JEL: D14 D15 E21 H55 J14
    Date: 2022–09
  2. By: Chen, Xi
    Abstract: This paper reviews the latest evidence of the effects of early life circumstances on old-age health, distinguishing in utero exposures from childhood exposures to a wide range of environments. We then leverage the growing number of studies of the impact of the Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961) on the health of older adults to perform a meta-analysis and discuss potential mechanisms. Recent studies assembling multiple domains of early life circumstances are evaluated to better understand how various circumstances may coalesce and manifest in shaping long-term health.
    Keywords: Early life Circumstances,Old-age Health,Famine,Long-term Health,Meta-Analysis,China
    JEL: I14 J14 J13 I18
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Lin, Zhuoer; Chen, Xi
    Abstract: Rapid population aging elevates burden of chronic and non-communicable diseases among older adults. Despite the critical role of self-management in disease prevention and control, effective management of diseases can be cognitively demanding and may require additional supports from family and social services. Using nationally representative data from China, this paper reveals great challenges in disease management and characterizes the differential effects of long-term care services and supports (LTSS) on disease management among older adults in different stages of cognitive impairment (CI). In specific, we use preventive care utilization and hypertension management as key indicators to assess the performance of disease management. We show that while access to LTSS from spouse or home-based services significantly facilitate active disease management behaviors, the effects are only evident among older adults with no CI. By contrast, access to LTSS has very modest effect for cognitively impaired individuals. In addition, older adults in more severe stages of CI perform worse in disease prevention, hypertension awareness and management. These findings reveal the vulnerability of older adults with CI in disease management and point to the importance of promoting targeted interventions to reduce barriers of accessing LTSS, especially among cognitively impaired population.
    Keywords: Long-term Services and Supports,Chronic Disease Management,Cognitive Impairment,Preventive Care Utilization,Disease Awareness,Hypertension
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Garten, Claudius (TU Dortmund); Myck, Michal (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA); Oczkowska, Monika (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA)
    Abstract: Homeownership has been shown to be related to various aspects of well-being, although both the causal nature of this relationship and the possible channels behind it have been difficult to identify. We focus on one of the most often quoted mechanisms which could be responsible for the positive effects of homeownership, namely its role in providing material security in old age. Using data from 15 European countries collected in wave 2 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we analyse the relationship between homeownership and material security, as measured through subjective expectations of being better or worse off in the future. We find that homeowners have a higher level of material security than renters, and this association is especially strong for those living in big cities. For this subsample, in comparison to renters, owning a property in the top quartile of the home value distribution is associated with an increase in the probability of expecting to be better off in the future by as much as 43%. With respect to our measure of material security we find no such correlations with education, income or financial assets. We interpret the results as support for the argument that homeownership offers a very particular form of material security, which may be behind its positivse implications for well-being.
    Keywords: homeownership, well-being, material security, old age, expectations
    JEL: I31 J14 D84
    Date: 2022–08
  5. By: Cremer, Helmuth; Canta, Chiara
    Abstract: We study the optimal long-term care policy when informal care can be provided by children in exchange for monetary transfers by their elderly parents. We consider a bargaining model with single-child families. Daughters have a lower labor market wage and a lower bargaining power within the family with respect to sons. Consequently, they provide more informal care and have lower welfare in the laissez-faire (although not necessarily lower transfers). The first best involves redistribution from families with sons to families with daughters and can be implemented by a gender-speci.c schedule of public LTC benefits and transfers to working children. If the policy is restricted to be gender neutral, we find that the informal care provided by daughters should be distorted up to enhance redistribution from families with sons to families with daughters. Transfers within the family should be distorted in both types of families.
    Keywords: Long-term care; informal care; strategic bequests; family bargaining; gender-; neutrality
    JEL: D13 H23 H31 I19
    Date: 2022–08–31
  6. By: Yiran Han; Baris K. Yörük
    Abstract: More than 18 percent of U.S. adults met the diagnostic criteria for a mental illness. Yet, many who could benefit from mental health care do not receive any treatment, mostly due to the inability to pay for care or lack of health insurance coverage. How does a sudden change in health insurance coverage status affect psychological well-being and mental health? We explore this question using age-based health insurance coverage policies in the United States as natural experiments. We provide evidence that losing health insurance coverage at age 26 due to aging out from dependent coverage is associated with a statistically significant deterioration in certain indicators of mental health among young adults. On the other hand, we find no evidence of an improvement in mental health or psychological well-being among the elderly at age 65 due to becoming eligible for Medicare. These results are robust to potential changes in risk-taking behavior and physical health at the same age cutoffs.
    Keywords: Affordable Care Act, dependent coverage, health insurance, medicare, mental health, psychological well-being
    JEL: I12 I13 I18
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Christian Scharrer (University of Augsburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies the age-group-specific evolution of inequality of total income among highly and less educated females and males at ages 26-80 from 2005 to 2018. On the one hand, it presents time series of Gini coefficients and associated decompositions by different income components. On the other hand, it investigates the extent to which changes in Gini coefficients were associated with a redistribution of total income between the bottom 40 percent, the middle class, and the top 10 percent. The results indicate that increases in inequality particularly burdened the youngest age groups in the bottom 40 percent. However, older age groups, especially elderly individuals, from the middle class also contributed to the increasing income shares of the top 10 percent.
    Keywords: Inequality, Total Income, Age Groups, Gini Coefficient, Income Shares
    JEL: D63 P10 J11
    Date: 2022–09
  8. By: Bergeot, J.;
    Abstract: Do children cooperate when they decide to provide informal care to their elderly parent? This paper assesses which model drives the caregiving decisions of children. I compare the pre-dictive power of two models: a (joint-utility) cooperative and a Nash noncooperative model. I focus on families with two children and one single parent. e model allows caregiving by one child to have a direct externality on the well-being of the sibling. The results suggest that the cooperative model overestimates the level of care received by the parents observed in the data and its predictive power is outperformed by the noncooperative model. is suggests that children are more likely to behave according to a noncooperative model. I also find that children’s participation in caregiving has a positive externality on the well-being of the sibling. I construct an indicator of the degree of noncooperativeness between children and show that it is positively correlated with the number of unmet needs the parent has. I conclude that, because children do not internalize the positive externality when they behave noncooperatively, the current level of informal care provided to parents appears to suffer from a public good problem.
    Date: 2022–07

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