This volume presents innovative research on issues of importance to the well-being of older persons: labor market behavior, health care, housing and living arrangements, and saving and wealth.
Specific topics include the effect of labor market rigidities on the employment of older workers; the effect on retirement of the availability of continuation coverage benefits; and the influence of the prospective payment system (PPS) on rising Medicare costs. Also considered are the effects of health and wealth on living arrangement decisions; the incentive effects of employer-provided pension plans; the degree of substitution between 401(k) plans and other employer-provided retirement saving arrangements; and the extent to which housing wealth determines how much the elderly save and consume.
Two final studies use simulations that describe the implications of stylized economic models of behavior among the elderly. This timely volume will be of interest to anyone concerned with the economics of aging.
Aged by Culture
Margaret Morganroth Gullette University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress HQ1061.G863 2004 | Dewey Decimal 305.26
Americans enjoy longer lives and better health, yet we are becoming increasingly obsessed with trying to stay young. What drives the fear of turning 30, the boom in anti-aging products, the wars between generations? What men and women of all ages have in common is that we are being insidiously aged by the culture in which we live.
In this illuminating book, Margaret Morganroth Gullette reveals that aging doesn't start in our chromosomes, but in midlife downsizing, the erosion of workplace seniority, threats to Social Security, or media portrayals of "aging Xers" and "greedy" Baby Boomers. To combat the forces aging us prematurely, Gullette invites us to change our attitudes, our life storytelling, and our society. Part intimate autobiography, part startling cultural expose, this book does for age what gender and race studies have done for their categories. Aged by Culture is an impassioned manifesto against the pernicious ideologies that steal hope from every stage of our lives.
Aging And The Law
Lawrence Frolik Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress KF390.A4A424 1999 | Dewey Decimal 346.73013
As Americans live longer, and as the "baby boom" generation approaches retirement, the social, political, and legal needs of older citizens pose a challenge to our institutions. One response has been the rise of "elder law." In this groundbreaking reader, Lawrence A. Frolik gathers together seminal essays on the intersection of law and issues affecting older Americans. The essays take into account not only the variety of professional perspectives but also the perspectives of individual older people, care givers, and family members.
After an introduction covering the nature of elder law, social attitudes toward the elderly, aging and ethnicity, and generational justice, the book includes sections on work, income, and wealth; housing; mental capacity; health care decision making; long-term care; health care finance; family and social issues; and abuse, neglect, victimization, and elderly criminals. It concludes with essays on legal representation and ethical issues. The essays have been edited to make them easily accessible to students and the general reader, and Professor Frolik has supplied introductions to the sections, as well as summaries of issues for which the essays could not be included.
Both comprehensive and engaging, Aging and the Law brings together essays by lawyers, social workers, health care professionals, and policy makers, as well as selected case law and congressional hearings.
A growing number of studies indicate that social ties that are formed by older people in the church have a significant positive impact on their physical and mental health. Aging in the Church: How Social Relationships Affect Health by Neal Krause constitutes the first attempt to provide a comprehensive assessment of the various types of relationships that stem from church involvement.
Among the many types of relationships Krause explores are closecompanion friendships, social-support structures (such as assistance provided by fellow church members during difficult times), and interactions that arise from Bible study and prayer groups. Through his thorough investigation of the underlying links between these relationships and the ways they relate to attributes like forgiveness, hope, gratitude, and altruism, the author hopes to explain why older adults who are involved in religious activities tend to enjoy better physical and mental health than those who are not involved in religious communities. Going well beyond merely reviewing the existing research on this subject, Aging in the Church provides a blueprint for taking research on church-based social relationships and health to the next level by identifying conceptual and methodological issues that investigators will have to confront as they delve more deeply into these connections.
Though these are complex issues, readers will find plain language throughout, along with literature drawn from a wide array of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, public health, medicine, psychiatry, nursing, social work, gerontology, and theology. Insights from these diverse fields are supplemented with ideas drawn from literature, poetry, philosophy, and ethics. As a result, Aging in the Church takes on a truly interdisciplinary focus that will appeal to a wide variety of scholars, researchers, and students.
Japanese and American economists assess the present economic status of the elderly in the United States and Japan, and consider the impact of an aging population on the economies of the two countries.
With essays on labor force participation and retirement, housing equity and the economic status of the elderly, budget implications of an aging population, and financing social security and health care in the 1990s, this volume covers a broad spectrum of issues related to the economics of aging. Among the book's findings are that workers are retiring at an increasingly earlier age in both countries and that, as the populations age, baby boomers in the United States will face diminishing financial resources as the ratio of retirees to workers sharply increases.
The result of a joint venture between the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Japan Center for Economic Research, this book complements Housing Markets in the United States and Japan (1994) by integrating research on housing markets with economic issues of the aged in the United States and Japan.
The population base in both the United States and Japan is growing older and, as those populations age, they provoke heretofore unexamined economic consequences. This cutting-edge, comparative volume, the third in the joint series offered by the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Japan Center for Economic Research, explores those consequences, drawing specific attention to four key areas: incentives for early retirement; savings, wealth, and asset allocation over the life cycle; health care and health care reform; and population projections.
Given the undeniable global importance of the Japanese and U.S. economies, these innovative essays shed welcome new light on the complex correlations between aging and economic behavior. This insightful work not only deepens our understanding of the Japanese and American economic landscapes but, through careful examination of the comparative social and economic data, clarifies the complex relation between aging societies, public policies, and economic outcomes.
Animals, Aging, and the Aged was first published in 1981. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This volume explores the significant contributions of animals to our understanding of aging, to improving geriatric medicine, and to providing companionship and assistance to the elderly. Leo L. Bustad discusses what can be learned from animal life-span studies about the process of aging, including the problems of cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and age-related mental conditions. The results of these studies suggest that changes in life-style—especially the diet—may modify the effects of chronic degenerative diseases.
Other studies show that caring for a pet can contribute greatly to the health and well being of the elderly. Bustad surveys experiments using animals in therapy and he presents, for the first time, evaluative instruments for choosing the appropriate pet. Companion animals allow many elderly people to maintain their independence. Animals are also helpful as aids for those with visual, hearing, and physical impairments. An appendix lists agencies that train dogs as aids to the physically impaired.
Animals, Aging, and the Aged is a thoughtful discussion of the physical, psychological, and social problems faced by the elderly, with emphasis on the ways that animals have contributed to the solution of some of those problems. As such, it will be useful for those involved in geriatric medicine and social work and in veterinary medicine and research. This book is volume 5 in the series Wesley W. Spink Lectures in Comparative Medicine.
Before Their Time
Mary Stimming Temple University Press, 1998 Library of Congress HV6545.2.B44 1999 | Dewey Decimal 155.937
Before Their Time is the first work to present adult children survivors' (defined as eighteen or above at the time of the parent's death) accounts of their loss, grief, and resolution following a parent's suicide. In once section, the book offers the perspectives of sons and daughters on the deaths of mothers; in another, the perspectives of sons and daughters on the deaths of fathers. In a third section, siblings reflect on the shared loss of their mother.
Each of these survivors faces the common difficulties associated with losing a loved one by suicide. They also experience difficulties specific to their status as both adult and child. Topics such as the impact of the parent's suicide on adult children's personal and professional choices, marriages and parenting, sibling and surviving parent relationships are explored with sensitivity and insight. Various coping skills, including humor, are described.
The writers describe feelings of regret and responsibility related to their parent's suicide. They express concern about other family members' vulnerability to suicide. They speak openly about the fears and stresses they face and how they cope with them.
The authors ranged in age from nineteen to thirty-six at the time of the parent's death. Between one and twenty-five years have passed since that tragedy.
In addition to the first-person narratives, the book includes a resource section with a national listing of suicide survivor support groups; an overview of existing research on survivors of suicide by John L. McIntosh, past president of the American Association of Suicidology; and an essay on elderly suicide by David C. Clark, secretary-general, International Association for Suicide, and editor-in-chief of Crisis. The book is introduced with a Foreword by Rev. Charles Rubey, founder and director of Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide.
By the turn of the century, the largest generation of Americans in history, the "Baby Boomers," will be approaching 65 years old. But as the demand for health and long-term care is growing dramatically, health care programs have been shrinking instead of expanding to meet the older generation's needs. In this timely book, John R. Wolfe offers practical solutions to the coming health crisis, exploring innovative ways of developing insurance plans for the care of the large, aging "Baby Boom" generation and beyond.
In previous decades, when younger Americans far outnumbered older ones, retirees could depend on financial support through taxes from the population at large. But as "Boomers" retire and the work force begins to shrink, there will be a disproportionately large population of retirees to workers. With such a big jump in the percentage of older Americans in the population, fewer workers will be able to to transfer funds, through taxes, to retirees. Moreover, other traditionally reliable sources of financial assistance—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—have faced serious financial difficulties in recent years. Who will the aged turn to for assistance?
The Coming Health Crisis suggests that as funds from all quarters dwindle, older Americans will have to look to alternative programs for financial assistance. Wolfe urges immediate action to develop new saving programs and increase existing transfer schemes to head off an imminent crisis. Although tax increases might provide some resources, he demonstrates that it is more important to accumulate capital to create solid reserves for the future. Wolfe also explores two roles for government: prefunding new or existing social insurance programs and promoting private insurance options. By exempting insurance fund income from corporate taxation and permitting people at all income levels to defer income tax on accounts earmarked for long-term care, he shows how government could greatly encourage and expand personal saving.
Finally, this work assesses the value of other recent health and long-term-care innovations: social/health maintenance organizations, long-term-care individual retirement accounts, and reverse annuity mortgages, in addition to vouchers, care rationing, mandatory public insurance, and expanded private coverage. Through this wide-ranging survey, Wolfe demonstrates that, through a combination of these programs, we can care for the aging "Baby Boom" generation by anticipating their needs and saving now.
Due to falling fertility rates, the aging of the baby-boom cohort, and increases in life expectancy, the percentage of the population that is elderly is expected to increase rapidly in the United States and Japan over the next two decades. These fourteen essays show that, despite differences in culture and social and government structure, population aging will have many similar macro and micro effects on the economic status and behavior of the elderly in both countries.
The most obvious effects will be on social programs such as public pension systems and the provision for medical needs of the elderly. But, the contributors demonstrate, aging will also affect markets for labor, capital, housing, and health care services. It will affect firms through their participation in the demand side of the labor market and through their provisions for pensions. And aging will influence saving rates, the rate of return on assets, the balance of payments, and, most likely, economic growth.
This volume will interest scholars and policy makers concerned with the economics of aging.
The Economics of Aging
Edited by David A. Wise University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress HQ1064.U5E26 1988 | Dewey Decimal 305.260973
The Economics of Aging presents results from an ongoing National Bureau of Economic Research project. Contributors consider the housing mobility and living arrangements of the elderly, their labor force participation and retirement, the economics of their health care, and their financial status. The goal of the research is to further our understanding both of the factors that determine the well-being of the elderly and of the consequences that follow from an increasingly older population with longer individual life spans. Each paper is accompanied by critical commentary.
Winner of the 1998 Paul A. Samuelson Award given by TIAA-CREF, The Evolution of Retirement is the first comprehensive economic history of retirement in America. With life expectancies steadily increasing, the retirement rate of men over age 64 has risen drastically. Dora L. Costa looks at factors underlying this increase and shows the dramatic implications of her findings for both the general public and the U.S. government. Using statistical, and demographic concepts, Costa sheds light on such important topics as rising incomes and retirement, work and disease, the job prospects of older workers, living arrangements of the elderly, the development of a retirement lifestyle, and pensions and politics.
"[Costa's] major contribution is to show that, even without Social Security and Medicare, retirement would have expanded dramatically."—Robert J. Samuelson, New Republic
"An important book on a topic which has become popular with historians and is of major significance to politicians and economists."—Margaret Walsh, Business History
As America's population ages, economic research related to the elderly becomes increasingly important to public policy.
Frontiers in the Economics in Aging directs attention to four topics: the role of retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s in personal saving; the economics of health care; new advances in research methodology; and aging in relation to inequality. Some of the issues analyzed within these topics are the implications of rising personal retirement saving in recent years, how health and health insurance affect labor supply, and the effects of pensions on the distribution of wealth.
David Wise's lucid introduction provides an overview of each paper. In addition to this book's appeal for specialists and microeconomists, it offers immediately practical ideas and methods for shaping public policy. In fact, one of the papers in this volume, "The Taxation of Pensions: A Shelter Can Become a Trap," helped to spur new legislation that reformed laws on pension distribution.
The twentieth century saw significant increases in both life expectancy and retirement rates-changes that have had dramatic impacts on nearly every aspect of society and the economy. Forecasting future trends in health and retirement rates, as we must do now, requires investigation of such long-term trends and their causes.
To that end, this book draws on new data-an extensive longitudinal survey of Union Army veterans born between 1820 and 1850-to examine the factors that affected health and labor force participation in nineteenth-century America. Contributors consider the impacts of a variety of conditions-including social class, wealth, occupation, family, and community-on the morbidity and mortality of the group. The papers investigate and address a number of special topics, including the influence of previous exposure to infectious disease, migration, and community factors such as lead in water mains. They also analyze the roles of income, health, and social class in retirement decisions, paying particular attention to the social context of disability.
Economists and historians who specialize in demography or labor, as well as those who study public health, will welcome the unique contributions offered by this book, which offers a clearer view than ever before of the workings and complexities of life, death, and labor during the nineteenth century.
On Thursday, July 13, 1995, Chicagoans awoke to a blistering day in which the temperature would reach 106 degrees. The heat index, which measures how the temperature actually feels on the body, would hit 126 degrees by the time the day was over. Meteorologists had been warning residents about a two-day heat wave, but these temperatures did not end that soon. When the heat wave broke a week later, city streets had buckled; the records for electrical use were shattered; and power grids had failed, leaving residents without electricity for up to two days. And by July 20, over seven hundred people had perished-more than twice the number that died in the Chicago Fire of 1871, twenty times the number of those struck by Hurricane Andrew in 1992—in the great Chicago heat wave, one of the deadliest in American history.
Heat waves in the United States kill more people during a typical year than all other natural disasters combined. Until now, no one could explain either the overwhelming number or the heartbreaking manner of the deaths resulting from the 1995 Chicago heat wave. Meteorologists and medical scientists have been unable to account for the scale of the trauma, and political officials have puzzled over the sources of the city's vulnerability. In Heat Wave, Eric Klinenberg takes us inside the anatomy of the metropolis to conduct what he calls a "social autopsy," examining the social, political, and institutional organs of the city that made this urban disaster so much worse than it ought to have been.
Starting with the question of why so many people died at home alone, Klinenberg investigates why some neighborhoods experienced greater mortality than others, how the city government responded to the crisis, and how journalists, scientists, and public officials reported on and explained these events. Through a combination of years of fieldwork, extensive interviews, and archival research, Klinenberg uncovers how a number of surprising and unsettling forms of social breakdown—including the literal and social isolation of seniors, the institutional abandonment of poor neighborhoods, and the retrenchment of public assistance programs—contributed to the high fatality rates. The human catastrophe, he argues, cannot simply be blamed on the failures of any particular individuals or organizations. For when hundreds of people die behind locked doors and sealed windows, out of contact with friends, family, community groups, and public agencies, everyone is implicated in their demise.
As Klinenberg demonstrates in this incisive and gripping account of the contemporary urban condition, the widening cracks in the social foundations of American cities that the 1995 Chicago heat wave made visible have by no means subsided as the temperatures returned to normal. The forces that affected Chicago so disastrously remain in play in America's cities, and we ignore them at our peril.
History of Old Age is the first major study of the ways in which old age has been perceived in western culture throughout history. Georges Minois paints a vast fresco, starting with the first old man to relate his own story—an Egyptian scribe some 4500 years ago—and ending with the deaths of Elizabeth I and Henry IV in the sixteenth century. Tracing the changing conceptions of the nature, value, and burden of the old, Minois argues that western history during this period is marked by great fluctuation in the social and political role of the aged.
Minois shows how, in ancient Greece, the cult of youth and beauty on the one hand, and the reverence for the figure of the Homeric sage, on the other, created an ambivalent attitude toward the aged. This ambiguity appears again in the contrast between the active role that older citizens played in Roman politics and their depiction in satirical literature of the period. Christian literature in the Middle Ages also played a large part in defining society's perception of the old, both in the image of the revered holy sage and in the total condemnation of the aged sinner.
Drawing on literary texts throughout, Minois considers the interrelation of literary, religious, medical, and political factors in determining the social fate of the elderly and their relationship to society. This book will be of great interest to social and cultural historians, as well as to general readers interested in the subject of the aged in society today.
Does government spend too little or too much on child care? How can education dollars be spent more efficiently? Should government's role in medical care increase or decrease? In this volume, social scientists, lawyers, and a physician explore the political, social, and economic forces that shape policies affecting human services.
Four in-depth studies of human-service sectors—child care, education, medical care, and long-term care for the elderly—are followed by six cross-sector studies that stimulate new ways of thinking about human services through the application of economic theory, institutional analysis, and the history of social policy.
The contributors include Kenneth J. Arrow, Martin Feldstein, Victor Fuchs, Alan M. Garber, Eric A. Hanushek, Christopher Jencks, Seymour Martin Lipset, Glenn Loury, Roger G. Noll, Paul M. Romer, Amartya Sen, and Theda Skocpol.
This timely study sheds important light on the tension between individual and social responsibility, and will appeal to economists and other social scientists and policymakers concerned with social policy issues.
For over a decade, the National Bureau of Economic Research has sponsored the Economics of Aging Program, under the direction of David A. Wise. The program addresses issues that affect the well-being of individuals as they age and a society that is composed increasingly of older people.
Within the next twenty years, an unprecedented proportion of Americans will be over sixty-five. New research in the economics of aging is an essential element of understanding what the future holds for this aging population. Inquiries in the Economics of Aging presents both empirical papers that consider questions that are fundamental to public policy and more theoretical contributions that lay new groundwork for future research in the economics of aging.
Inquiries in the Economics of Aging provides a timely overview of some of the most important questions facing researchers on aging and outlines new techniques and models that may help to answer these questions. This important volume will be of great interest to specialists and policy makers as it paves the way for future analysis.
This companion volume to The Economics of Aging (1989) examines the economic consequences of an increasingly older population, focusing on the housing and living arrangements of the elderly, as well as their labor force participation and retirement.
One of the most distinguished psychologists of the century, Bernice L. Neugarten is best known for her groundbreaking contributions to the study of adult development and aging. Covering more than forty years of scholarship, this volume brings together Neugarten's most important contributions in four areas: Age as a Dimension of Social Organization; The Life Course; Personality and Adaptation; and Social Policy Issues. Each section is introduced by an eminent authority in the area, including George L. Maddox, Gunhild O. Hagestad, David L. Gutmann, Robert H. Binstock, and Dail A. Neugarten, who explains and highlights Neugarten's contributions in light of the most recent research.
Carefully edited by Dail Neugarten, each chapter presents the reader with Bernice Neugarten's original formulations on topics such as age norms and age constraints, the changing meanings of age, and age neutral social policy. Including four previously unpublished papers, The Meanings of Age will be of interest to scholars, students, and practitioners of psychology, education, law, medicine, social policy, and gerontology.
"An American anthropologist, Jennie Keith . . . went to live for twelve months in a French housing scheme for retired people and as a participant observer conducted a study in community creation. This book, in which she describes and analyses her experience, is a delight. It is scholarly and draws on a wide range of studies of similar residences and other collectives; it is also vivid, funny, sad and entertaining."—Marie Borland, British Journal of Social Work
What accounts for the striking decline in labor force participation at increasingly younger ages? Social Security and Retirement around the World examines one explanation: social security programs actually provide incentives for early retirement. This volume houses a set of remarkable papers that present information on the social security systems, and labor force participation patterns, in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
"This book is highly recommended for the serious student of retirement age trends and social security old-age pension policies of industrial nations in a cross-national context." Martin B. Tracy, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
“A path-breaking public-policy study. The authors consistently use a new methodology to evaluate the consequences of retirement systems on the behavior of older workers in eleven industrialized countries. In doing so, the book passes a major test of any conference volume the whole greatly exceeds the sum of its parts. This book without question provides the most consistent cross-national analyses of the work disincentives of retirement programs ever produces. Moreover it will serve as the model for all future efforts of this kind.” Journal of Economics
The future of Social Security is troubled, both in the United States and in most other developed countries with aging populations. As improvements in health care and changes in life styles enable retirees to live longer than ever before, the stress on national budgets will increase substantially. In Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World, Jonathan Gruber, David A. Wise, and experts in many countries examine the consequences of reforming retirement benefits in a dozen nations.
Drawing on the work of an international group of noted economists, the editors argue that social security programs provide strong incentives for workers to leave the labor force by retiring and taking the benefits to which they are entitled. By penalizing work, social security systems magnify the increased financial burden caused by aging populations, thus contributing to the insolvency of the system. This book is a model of comparative analysis that evaluates the effects of illustrative policies for countries facing the impending rapid growth of social security benefits. Its insights will help inform one of the most pressing debates.
Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World represents the second stage of an ongoing research project studying the relationship between social security and labor. In the first volume, Jonathan Gruber and David A. Wise revealed enormous disincentives to continued work at older ages in developed countries. Provisions of many social security programs typically encourage retirement by reducing pay for work, inducing older employees to leave the labor force early and magnifying the financial burden caused by an aging population. At a certain age there is simply no financial benefit to continuing to work.
In this volume, the authors turn to a country-by-country analysis of retirement behavior based on micro-data. The result of research compiled by teams in twelve countries, the volume shows an almost uniform correlation between levels of social security incentives and retirement behavior in each country. The estimates also show that the effect is strikingly uniform in countries with very different cultural histories, labor market institutions, and other social characteristics.
In the past few years, the economic ramifications of aging have garnered close attention from a group of NBER researchers led by David A. Wise. In this volume, Wise and his collaborators continue to analyze a nexus of age-related issues.
This volume begins by looking at the implications of private and public personal retirement plans, focusing in particular on the impact of 401(k) programs on retirement strategies in light of potential social security reform and factors such as annuitization and on asset accumulation. Next, the often-observed relationship between health and wealth is dissected from two different perspectives and correlated with striking increases in health-care spending over the past two decades, despite the improved health of older populations. The volume concludes with an investigation of the retirement effects of various social security provisions in both U.S. and German systems.
This carefully developed collection expands the current investigative focus and broadens the dialogue on a rapidly growing area of social and economic concern.
The original essays and commentary in this volume—the third in a series reporting the results of the NBER Economics of Aging Program—address issues that are of particular importance to the well-being of individuals as they age and to a society at large that is composed increasingly of older persons. The contributors examine social security reform, including an analysis of the Japanese system; present the startling finding that the vast majority of people choose the wrong accumulation strategies for their pension plans; explore the continuing consequences of the decline in support of parents by children in the postwar period; investigate the relation between nursing home stays and the source of payment for the care; and offer initial findings on the implications of differences between developed and developing countries for understanding aging issues and determining appropriate directions for research.