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Frontiers in the Economics of Aging

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.

508 pages | 104 line drawings, 136 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1998

National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report

Economics and Business: Economics--Development, Growth, Planning, Health Economics

Table of Contents

Introduction by David A. Wise
I. Personal Retirement Plans
1. Personal Retirement Saving Programs and Asset Accumulation: Reconciling the Evidence
James M. Poterba, Steven F. Venti, and David A. Wise
Comment: David Laibson
2. Implications of Rising Personal Retirement Saving
James M. Poterba, Steven F. Venti, and David A. Wise
Comment: Sylvester J. Schieber
3. The Taxation of Pensions: A Shelter Can Become a Trap
John B. Shoven and David A. Wise
Comment: Alan J. Auerbach
II. Health: Spending Patterns and Implications and Effect on Work
4. The Medical Costs of the Young and Old: A Forty-Year Perspective
David M. Cutler and Ellen Meara
Comment: David Meltzer
5. Diagnosis and Medicare Expenditures at the End of Life
Alan M. Garber, Thomas MaCurdy, and Mark McClellan
Comment: David M. Cutler
6. The Impact of Intrafamily Correlations on the Viability of Catastrophic Insurance
Matthew J. Eichner
Comment: Thomas J. Kane
7. Health Events, Health Insurance, and Labor Supply: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey
Mark McClellan
Comment: Michael D. Hurd
III. Methodological Innovations
8. Consumption and Savings Balances of the Elderly: Experimental Evidence on Survey Response Bias
Michael D. Hurd, Daniel McFadden, Harish Chand, Li Gan, Angela Merrill, and Michael Roberts
Comment: James P. Smith
9. Stochastic Forecasts for Social Security
Ronald Lee and Shripad Tuljapurkar
Comment: Sylvester J. Schieber
IV. View of Inequality
10. Health, Income, and Inequality over the Life Cycle
Angus Deaton and Christina Paxson
Comment: David Meltzer
11. Pensions and the Distribution of Wealth
Kathleen McGarry and Andrew Davenport
Author Index
Subject Index

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