Skip to main content

Discoveries in the Economics of Aging

The oldest members of the Baby-Boomer generation are now crossing the threshold of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare with extensive and significant implications for these programs’ overall spending and fiscal sustainability. Yet the aging of the Baby Boomers is just one part of the rapidly changing landscape of aging in the United States and around the world.

The latest volume in the NBER’s Economics of Aging series, Discoveries in the Economics of Aging assembles incisive analyses of the most recent research in this expanding field of study. A substantive focus of the volume is the well-documented relationship between health and financial well-being, especially as people age. The contributors explore this issue from a variety of perspectives within the context of the changing demographic landscape. The first part of the volume explores recent trends in health measurement, including the use of alternative measurement indices. Later contributions explore, among other topics, alternate determinants of health, including retirement, marital status, and cohabitation with family, and the potential for innovations, interventions, and public policy to improve health and financial well-being.

528 pages | 78 figures, 128 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2014

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Health Economics


“This book brilliantly achieves its goal of enhancing our understanding of the issues related to health and ageing in the twenty-first century. The type of research it presents is not only compelling, but also provides useful tools to assess the main challenges that an older population poses with respect to financing retirement and ensuring appropriate health care. I can hardly recommend a better read on a more pressing problem.”

Journal of Pension Economics and Finance

Table of Contents

David A. Wise and Richard Woodbury
I. Health and Disability
1. Evidence for Significant Compression of Morbidity in the Elderly US Population
David M. Cutler, Kaushik Ghosh, and Mary Beth Landrum
Comment: Daniel McFadden and Wei Xie
2. The Lifetime Risk of Nursing Home Use
Michael D. Hurd, Pierre-Carl Michaud, and Susann Rohwedder
Comment: David M. Cutler
3. A Comparison of Different Measures of Health and Their Relation to Labor Force Transitions atOlder Ages
Arie Kapteyn and Erik Meijer
Comment: Steven F. Venti
II. Health and Financial Well-Being
4. The Nexus of Social Security Benefits, Health, and Wealth at Death
James M. Poterba, Steven F. Venti, and David A.Wise
Comment: Jonathan Skinner
5. Understanding the SES Gradient in Health among the Elderly: The Role of Childhood Circumstances
Till Stowasser, Florian Heiss, Daniel McFadden, and Joachim Winter
Comment: Robert J. Willis
III. Determinants of Health
6. Early Retirement, Mental Health, and Social Networks
Axel Börsch-Supan and Morten Schuth
Comment: Elaine Kelly
7. Spousal Health Effects: The Role of Selection
James Banks, Elaine Kelly, and James P. Smith
Comment: Amitabh Chandra
8. Grandpa and the Snapper: The Well-Being of the Elderly Who Live with Children
Angus Deaton and Arthur A. Stone
Comment: David Laibson
9. Expectations, Aging, and Cognitive Decline
Gábor Kézdi and Robert J. Willis
Comment: John B. Shoven
IV. Interventions to Improve Health and Well-being
10. Nutrition, Iron Deficiency Anemia, and the Demand for Iron-Fortified Salt: Evidence from an Experiment in Rural Bihar
Abhijit Banerjee, Sharon Barnhardt, and Esther Duflo
Comment: Amitabh Chandra
11. The Diffusion of New Medical Technology: The Case of Drug-Eluting Stents
Amitabh Chandra, David Malenka, and Jonathan Skinner
Comment: Jay Bhattacharya
12. Who Uses the Roth 401(k), and How Do They Use It?
John Beshears, James J. Choi, David Laibson, and Brigitte C. Madrian
Comment: James M. Poterba
Author Index
Subject Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press