"C’est injustice de voir qu’un père vieux, cassé et demi - mort jouisse seul, à un coin du foyer, des biens qui suffiraient à l’avancement et entretien de plusieurs enfants, et qu’il les laisse cependant, par faute de moyens, perdre leurs meilleures années sans se pousser au service public et connaissance des hommes." LES ESSAIS II

"It is unjust to see an aged father, broken (or in his dotage) and only half alive, stuck in his chimney-corner with the absolute possession of enough wealth to help and maintain several children, allowing them all this time to waste their best years without means of advancement in the public service and of making themselves better known." LES ESSAIS II

February 23, 2019

Debates & News

International conference on the theme “Innovation for Health, Innovation for Life” - July, 17th, 18th and 19th 2019 at the University Parthenope of Naples 


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7th Congress (french-speaking): “Frailty of the elderly, healthy aging and prevention of loss of autonomy” – Paris – April, 4th and 5th 2019


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Call for papers : “What is an optimal ageing policy considering demography and economics?” – Symposium organized by the network EIDLL and the chair TDTE on july 9th 2019 – Deadline : may 20 2019


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January 31st 2019, EHESP health conference : Isolation, exhaustion, distress of the entrepreneur: prevent risks and support - "Chambre de Métiers et de l'Artisanat" in Rennes.


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Convergence des systèmes de retraite, quelles solutions ?, conference organized by the Chair "Transitions démographiques, Transitions économiques" january 24th 2019, at the Centre de Conférences Edouard VII, 23 square Edouard VII, 75009 Paris.


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7th Congress - Fragilité du Sujet Âgé. Le Vieillissement en Santé - Prévention de la Perte d'Autonomie. PARIS • Jeudi 4 et Vendredi 5 avril 2019. Les salons Hoche - 9 Avenue Hoche, 75008 Paris


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Call for papers: PEUT-ON SE PASSER DE L’EHPAD ? Study day of the group "Aging and society" - Network of Young Researchers Health and Society. March 29, 2019 - Bordeaux


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ALEFPA organizes on the 21st of January 2019 at the IRTS Hauts de France a conference day with the theme "VIEILLIR AVEC SON CORPS, SES PROCHES ET LES STRUCTURES D’ACCUEIL : REGARDS CROISÉS"


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CALL FOR PAPERS: The 5th IRDES-DAUPHINE Workshop on Applied Health Economics and Policy Evaluation, will take place in Paris, France, on June 20th-21st, 2019. The workshop is organized by IRDES, Institute for Research and Information in Health Economics, and the Chaire Santé Dauphine.

Deadline: January 14th 2019, 6 pm CET.


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Confrence on Economic exclusion in old age: research and policy, January 11, 2019 in Paris


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Make.org has launched with the Ministry of Solidarity and Health the largest ever popular online consultation on seniors around the question "How to take better care of our elders? ". The most supported citizen proposals will make it possible to build the first major plan of concrete actions of the civil society in favor of the seniors, alongside the State.



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"Cash in the age of payment diversity" the fourth International Cash Conference hosted by the Deutsche Bundesbank from 10 to 12 September 2019 in Munich, Germany. For registration and Call for papers, please follow the link


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Call for papers - CESifo Venice Summer Institute 2019: The future of Europe: Structural reforms, growth and globalisation - on the 5th and 6th of June 2019


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Call for papers - Public policies assessment, 15th Annual Conference of the CNRS TEPP Research Federation - 26th and 27th of November, 2018 at Université Paris-Est Créteil - deadline 15th of October 2018


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Call for papers - Silver economy, vulnerabilities and territories - 19th of October 2019 at the University of Artois in Arras - deadline 15 December 2019


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Webinar on partnerships and financing - on the 24th of October at 4 p.m


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The 6th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy: the Future of Well-being, organised in collaboration with Statistics Korea, will take place on 27-29 November 2018 in Incheon, Korea.


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Books, Articles & Working Papers

The paper “Social participation and social engagement of elderly people” of Sylvia Rainer focuses on the living experience of elderly and disabled people who represent groups of population at risk of marginalisation: they are likely considered to be unable to take part in the so called active life which generally shapes the construction of identity in adulthood. Yet, in terms of social capital and cohesion the participation of elderly and disabled people can offer great treasure for every community.Thus, this dissertation aims to reveal living experiences of elderly people by considering not only ‘sane’ senior citizens, but also by comparing their subjective constructions with those of elderly people with lifelong intellectual disabilities. The intention is to explore their personal strategies of social participation, their embeddedness in social networks and the availability of resources they activate in case of need. The outcomes of this study aim to enrich theory, as well as to reveal crucial mandates for social services and policies.



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Throughout the 21st century, population aging in the United States will lead to increases in the number of elderly people requiring some form of living assistance which, as some argue, is to be seen as a burden on society, straining old-age insurance systems and requiring younger agents to devote an increasing fraction of their time toward caring for infirm elders. Given this concern, it is natural to ask how aggregate GDP growth is affected by such a phenomenon. F. Kydland and N. Pretnar in the paper “The cost and benefits of caring: Aggregate burdens of an aging population” develop an overlapping generations model where young agents face idiosyncratic risk of contracting an old-age disease, like for example Alzheimer's or dementia, which adversely affects their ability to fully enjoy consumption. Young agents care about their infirm elders and can choose to supplement elder welfare by spending time taking care of them. Through this channel, aggregate GDP growth endogenously depends on young agents' degree of altruism. The authors calibrate the model and show that projected population aging will lead to future reductions in output of 17% by 2056 and 39% by 2096 relative to an economy with a constant population distribution. Curing diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia can lead to a compounded output increase of 5.4% while improving welfare for all agents.


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Previous studies have suggested that socioeconomic status is linked to health status. However, most of these studies have been conducted in developed countries, whose social settings are different from those in China. Hukou (household registration) status, one of China's main socioeconomic indicators, has received limited attention in the literature. The objective of the study “Depression among Chinese older adults: A perspective from Hukou and health inequalities” of J. Guo, L. Guan et al. was to examine the relationship between different Hukou statuses, and depression, among older adults in China. The results indicated that the level of depressive symptoms was significantly higher among villagers, temporary migrants and permanent migrants than among urban local citizens. In addition, people who had experienced changes in their Hukou status before age 16 were more likely to have depressive symptoms.



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In the paper "Individual and province inequalities in health among older people in China: Evidence and policy implications", Maria Evandroua, Jane Falkinghamb, Zhixin Fengc and Athina Vlachantonia use multi-level modelling to analyse data from the nationally-representative Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) in order to investigate the characteristics associated with poor health among older people, including individual and household characteristics as well as the characteristics of the provinces in which the older person lives. The results show that older Chinese women, rural residents, those with an education level lower than high school, without individual income sources, who are ex-smokers, and those from poor economic status households are more likely to report disability and poor self-rated health. Differentials in the health outcomes remain substantial between provinces even after controlling for a number of individual and household characteristics.


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The december edition of the cahiers de L'ILB is about retirement and especially the challenges of the future French reform. Jean-Hervé Lorenzi, Hicham Belkouch, Mathieu Noguès, Didier Blanchet, Thomas Weitzenblum and Lionel Ragot of the Chair TDTE talk about  their points of views through various interviews.


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For many people, working after beginning retirement benefit collection is a way to enhance financial security by increasing income. Existing research has shown that retirees are sensitive to the Social Security earnings test, which restricts the amount of earnings some beneficiaries can receive. However, little is known about the effects of other types of policies on post-retirement employment. Instead of restricting earnings, many public pension plans restrict the number of hours beneficiaries can work. In her research paper "Pension Reform and Return to Work Policies", Maria D. Fitzpatrick uses return-to-work rules limiting the number of hours of employment in a state’s public pension plan and administrative data on employment and retirement to determine the rules’ effects on retirement decisions and post-retirement labor supply. She finds that the increases in the maximum number of hours of post-retirement employment lead to no change in retirement benefit collection and to increases in part-time work among retirees. As such, these policies appear to be binding on the labor supply decisions of some employees. Policymakers should take this into account when designing policies aimed at extending work-lives or improving the health of pension systems.



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There have been a vast number of social security reforms aimed at increasing employment at older ages over the last two decades in the Netherlands. These reforms mainly lead to more stringent eligibility criteria for, and reduced generosity of, social security programs. The article by Klaas de Vos, Arie Kapteyn et Adriaan Kalwij, "Social Security Programs and Employment at Older Ages in the Netherlands" suggests that these reforms are likely to have contributed to individuals working longer, but it is difficult to pinpoint which reforms have been most effective. Furthermore, the authors show that the recent increase in the state pension eligibility age is likely to further increase employment at older ages.


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Takashi Oshio, Akiko S. Oishi and Satoshi Shimizutani examine how the change in the trend of the elderly’s employment rates has been associated with changes in incentives of social security and its related programs in Japan since the 1980s. The results of their study "Social Security Programs and the Elderly Employment in Japan" suggest that a reduction in the tax force to retire early due to a series of social security reforms has been associated with the recent recovery of the employment rates for men aged 60 years and over as well as the increasing upward trend in the employment rates for women aged 55-64 years.


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There is little systematic information on the distribution options in public sector retirement plans and how annuity options are priced relative to the standard single life annuity. The study "Annuity Pricing in Public Pension Plans: Importance of Interest Rates" by Nino Abashidze and al. examines the distribution options of 85 large public retirement plans covering general state employees, teachers, and local government employees. An important component of the analysis is the construction of a data set presenting the annuity options offered by each of these plans and how the monthly benefits for these distribution options are priced. The analysis shows that interest rates used to price annuities vary considerably across the plans. As a result, retirees with the same monthly benefit if a single life benefit is chosen will have substantially different monthly benefits if they select the joint and survivor annuity offered by their retirement plan.


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Are tax incentives the best way to encourage people to save for retirement? OECD has published on December the 3rd a study that assesses whether countries can improve the design of financial incentives to promote savings for retirement. After describing how different countries design financial incentives to promote savings for retirement in funded pensions, the study calculates the overall tax advantage that individuals may benefit from as a result of those incentives when saving for retirement. It then examines the fiscal cost of those incentives and their effectiveness in increasing retirement savings, and looks into alternative approaches to designing financial incentives. The study ends with policy guidelines on how to improve the design of financial incentives to promote savings for retirement, highlighting that depending on the policy objective certain designs of tax incentives or non-tax incentives may be more appropriate.


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Grandparenthood plays an important role in an individual’s later life. Bruno Arpino, Valeria Bordone and Nicoletta Balbo studied the relationship between older people’s subjective wellbeing and having grandchildren, their number and provision of grandchildcare in their paper work "GRANDCHILDREN, A FOUNTAIN OF SATISFACTION". Grandparents reported higher satisfaction with their lives compared to grandchildless. However, overall, it is the provision of grandchild care that positively benefits grandparents’ wellbeing rather than having grandchildren per se.


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In contrast with the case of health care, distributional fairness of long-term care services in Europe has received limited attention. Given its increased relevance in the social policy agenda it is timely to evaluate the evidence on inequality and horizontal inequity by socio-economic status and to identify the socio-economic factors that drive them. Stefania Ilinca, Ricardo Rodrigues and Andrea E. Schmidt analyse this issue in "FAIRNESS AND ELIGIBILITY TO LONG-TERM CARE".



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Stephen Aichele and Paolo Ghisletta examined bidirectional, time-ordered associations between age-related changes in depressive symptoms and memory in "MEMORY DEFICITS PRECEDE INCREASES IN DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS IN LATER ADULTHOOD". Depressive symptoms increased and memory scores decreased across the observed age range, with worsening mostly evident after age 62 years. In later adulthood, lower memory performance at a given age predicts subsequent 2-year increases in depressive symptoms.


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Bruno Arpino, Jordi Gumà and Albert Julià use SHARE data and find that poor health and socioeconomic status during childhood have a long term influence on health at older ages. A substantial part of this effect is explained by educational attainment. The results of their article "HEALTHY AGEING STARTS FROM CHILDHOOD" point at the need of considering the whole life course in designing policies for healthy ageing.


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There are gender differences in cognition across countries, but what are the causal drivers? Gender differences in cognition are the result of biopsychosocial interactions throughout the life course. Social-cognitive theory of gender development posits that gender roles may play an important mediating role in these interactions. In their study "WOMEN SHOW COGNITIVE ADVANTAGE IN GENDER-EQUAL COUNTRIES", Eric Bonsang, Vegard Skirbekk and Ursula Staudinger find that older women performed relatively better in countries characterized by more equal gender-role attitudes. The effect was partially mediated by education and labor-force participation. Cognition in later life thus cannot be fully understood without reference to the opportunity structures that sociocultural environments do (or do not) provide.


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To understand how health policies can help improve our quality of life in older ages, it is important to look at health behaviours and their relation to health outcomes. In the recent study "PERCEPTION OF HEALTH AND HEALTH BEHAVIOUR", Liili Abuladze, Nele Kunder, Katrin Lang and Sirje Vaask examined this relationship in Estonia, where life expectancies and self-rated health among older adults have been relatively low in Europe. According to SHARE data from Wave 4 Estonia has the highest proportion (over 70%) of people aged 50 and above reporting fair or poor health compared with other countries in the survey.


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Air pollution is one of the most important problems around the globe, with significant adverse effects on health and environment. Eleftherios Giovanis and Oznur Ozdamar explore the link between air pollution and health in pensioners in Europe in their study "THE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION ON PENSIONERS’ HEALTH IN EUROPE". They find that monetary values the elderly respondents are willing to pay for a unit decrease in air pollution in order to improve their health status are substantial.


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Marco Bertoni, Stefania Maggi and Guglielmo Weber use SHARE data on handgrip strength to estimate the effect of early retirement on muscle strength, an accurate predictor of disability and mortality. They find that workers who have retired earlier are more likely to suffer from reduced strength late in life. This supports policies postponing retirement age.


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Nowadays, care supply is shrinking and care demand increases. In order to better support informal caregivers, deeper knowledge about the various consequences of caregiving in different contexts is urgently needed. The study of Judith Kaschowitz and Martina Brandt "THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF INFORMAL CAREGIVING ACROSS EUROPE" shows that all across Europe caregiving within household increases depressiveness of the caregivers. Other health effects vary by country and household context. All in all, caregiving is a selective process with detrimental effects especially on mental health all over Europe.


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Long-term care is significantly related to the measures and costs of the healthcare systems. In his article "LONG-TERM CARE SUBSIDISATION AND USE OF HOSPITAL CARE", Joan Costa-Font explores if subsidising long-term care could reduce hospital admissions and find that the expansion of the public subsidisation of LTC services has indeed an important knock on effects on the health system, reducing the total healthcare costs to 11%.


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The article "Children's migration and lifestyle-related chronic disease among older parents ‘left behind’ in india", written by Jane Falkingham, Min Qin, Athina Vlachantoni and Maria Evandrou is an empirical evidence to the academic and policy debate about the consequences of globalization and urbanization for older people's health status generally, and particularly their risk for reporting chronic diseases that relate to changes in their lifestyle. The results show that the prevalence of chronic disease is high among ‘left behind’ older parents in India.



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"Living arrangements and older People's labor force participation in Hong Kong, 1986–2016" Yuying Tong, Feinian Chen and Wenyang Su examine labor force participation of older adults and its association with the family context. The results show that co-residence with adult children accompanies a lower level in older adults’ labor force participation, compared with living alone or with the spouse only, but the extent of the reduction depends on the marital status of the children. Those living with married children have the lowest labor force participation, but living with unmarried children, sons in particular, increases the likelihood of employment compared with living with married children. 


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In his paper work "Productive aging of Korean older people based on time use", Ju Hyun Kim reveals that the time used by for older adults in Korea for productive activities depends on objective factors. Indeed the level of commitment depends on the gender of the elderly and it turned out to be the most discriminating factor. As for the dimension of labor, gender division of labor still existed during older adulthood in that older men were more active in doing paid work, whereas care of family was assigned as women's responsibility. Furthermore, most of the elderly did not participate in productive activities, and this possibility rose as one's age increased.


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Su Aw and al. identify and explain the continuum of social participation among older adults in Singapore ranging from marginalization and exclusion, to ‘comfort-zoning’ alone, seeking consistent social interactions, expansion of social network, and giving back to society. In their research of August 2017, the authors highlight the influence of culture and policy context on social participation.


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In the study "Productive activities and cognitive decline among older adults in China: Evidence from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study", Ye Luo Xi Pan Zhenmei Zhang examine the relationship between productive activities and cognitive decline among older adults aged 50 years and over in China and whether this relationship varies by gender and urban/rural residence.


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Pei-Chun Ko Wei-Jun Jean Yeung explain in their paper work from September 2018 "Childhood conditions and productive aging in China", how better childhood health, an advantaged family background, and values of helping others instilled in childhood affect older adults' productive engagement in working, caring, and socially productive activities in China.




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Robert L. Clark, Robert G. Hammond and David Vanderweide published a report in October 2018 entitled "Navigating Complex Financial Decisions at Retirement: Evidence from Annuity Choices in Public Sector Pensions" which assesses retirees' choices between an annuity system or a capital. They measure the well-being of these individuals according to their retirement choices, their gender and their sector of activity (public or private).


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"Social engagement and the elderly in rural Indonesia" by Ariane Utomo, Peter Mcdonald, Iwu Utomo, Nur Cahyadi and Robert Sparrowd studies how the levels of social engagement of old people vary in rural Indonesia. They use three measures of the social engagement: participation in income-generating activities, in communal activities and in care work. The majority of the respondents to the survey are actively engaged in productive activities in their old age until they can no longer be so to fulfill their income security. The notion of productive ageing promoted by western and urban contexts is secondary in the ageing rural communities.


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Productive ageing has evolved since 1982 to include not only employment of old people but also volunteering, caregiving and other activities that produce good or services for society whether paid or unpaid. In their paper "Lifelong learning and productive aging among the baby-boomers in Singapore", Leng Leng Thang, Emily Lim and Sophie Li-Shan Tan consider the lifelong learning as one of the productive ageing activities and try to understand the connections between the two notions. They use data collected from 64 qualitative interviews with learners and non-learners of the baby-boomer generation (age 50–64) and they explore the perception and the relationship between seniors and lifelong learning as a productive activity.


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In "Well-being and volunteering: Evidence from aging societies in Asia", Li-Hsuan studies whether and how volunteering affects the well-being, namely satisfaction, happiness, health and life mastery of older people in rapidly aging Asian societies. The results show a positive relationship between active volunteering and well-being.

Voluntary work in charitable, humanitarian, and religious organizations is the most associated with well-being for relatively younger people. However, for people aged 65 and above, volunteering in self-help and cultural organizations is associated with higher well-being. This paper suggests that old people should be encouraged to engage in voluntary service and for a long duration. It identifies the types of volunteer work that enhance the well-being of seniors and helps them with the transition to retirement. By involving productive old people, ageing societies might alleviate their labor shortage problems.


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The article "Les attentes en termes de services pour les seniors : Le rôle de l’altruisme et de l’anticipation de la dépendance" by Bénédicte H. Apouey focuses on the expectations of new services that could facilitate ageing well in France. These services cover a variety of areas: services relating to social life, services relating to working life and retirement, support services for family and non-professional carers, health and care services, home services for dependent persons, services relating to home adaptation, and services relating to out-of-home accommodation. The study reveals the major role played by altruism, solidarity, and the anticipation of dependence in these expectations.


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In her paper "Preparation for old age in France: The roles of preferences and expectations", Bénédicte H. Apouey eplains in the perspective of ageing well, that the preparation for old age depends on individual preferences, their relationship to time, their aversion to risk and family altruism. 


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Hervé Boulhol and Pieter Vanhuysse explain how to prevent inequalities in ageing societies: To reduce the disparities we must address both intra-generational and intergenerational inequalities by redesigning policies to have a life course perspective.


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"Productive aging in developing Southeast Asia: Comparative analyses between Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand", by Bussarawan Teerawichitchainana, Vipan Prachuabmohb and John Knodelc is a September 2018 paper that studies the productive engagement ( i.e. their economic activity, assistance to family members, and caregiving) among people over 60 years old in developing Southeast Asia. Results suggest that elders in all three countries make important contributions to their families–consistent with Southeast Asia's prevailing norm of reciprocity in intergenerational support. They found that assistance in household chores is the most common contribution that older persons make, followed by caregiving and economic activity and that education is an important factor influencing productive aging. For example, elderly Thais with some educational attainment are more likely than those without any education to participate in the labor force and in turn are able to provide financial assistance to their children. They also found different later-life engagement depending on gender. Older women tend to provide non-economic contributions to family while older men provide economic contributions more than their female counterparts. Moreover, the results show different extent of productive engagement depending on social contexts and economic development.


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Andreas Kuhn, Stefan Staubli, Jean-Philippe Wuellrich and Josef Zweimüller, study the effects of early retirement on mortality in their paperwork of October 2018 "Fatal Attraction? Extended Unemployment Benefits, Labor Force Exits, and Mortality". To estimate the causal effect of permanent and premature exits from the labor force on mortality, while overcoming the problem of negative health selection into early retirement, they exploit the data of a policy change in the unemployment insurance rules in Austria that allowed workers in eligible regions to exit the labor force 3 years earlier and compared them to workers in non-eligible regions. The results show that the policy change induced eligible workers to exit the labor force significantly earlier. Instrumental variable estimation results show that for men retiring one year earlier causes a 6.8% increase in the risk of premature death and 0.2 years reduction in the age at death, but has no significant effect for women.


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At a time when the french government is about to embark on a major transformation of the pension system, the employment of older people must be considered as an issue. According to forecast of the Pension Policy Council, the average retirement age is expected to be around 64 years by 2030, compared to 61 years and 10 months today, excluding any changes in legislation. Such a projected increase makes the employment of seniors "a crucial issue both for the collective future of our system and for the individual trajectories of future retirees". For Emmanuelle Prouet and Julien Rousselon, the authors of France Stratégie's "Les seniors, l'emploi et la retraite" report, the challenge is to ensure that raising the retirement age does not lead to situations of unemployment or inactivity that are costly for society and public accounts. Thus, one of the priorities is to prevent all obstacles to the employment of older people, in particular to avoid professional wear and tear and to allow everyone to choose the time of their departure.


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In their article from October the 8th "Happiness at Different Ages: The Social Context Matters", John F. Helliwell, Max B. Norton, Haifang Huang and Shun Wang find significant correlations when testing for interactions between subjective well-being at different ages and variables measuring the nature and quality of the social context at work, at home, and in the community.



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"THE LIFETIME MEDICAL SPENDING OF RETIREES": American households who turned 70 in 1992 will on average incur $122,000 in medical spending including Medicaid. The level and the dispersion of this spending diminish slowly with age...


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Alicia H. Munnell and Andrew D. Eschtruth present in "Modernizing Social Security: Helping the Oldest Old", two options to strengthen social security programs that will enable retirees to cope with the increasing risk of poverty...


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France Stratégie explains the impact of the pension system on the activity of older people and its effect on maintaining or returning to work in a new report, by E. Prouet and J. Rousselon "Les seniors, l'emploi et la retraite".


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"The evolution of longevity: Evidence from Canada" from K. Milligan and T. Schirle studies the relationship between earnings and longevity: The gap in life expectancy between the lowest and highest earners is about 8 years...


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