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Research Findings in the Economics of Aging

The baby boom generation’s entry into old age has led to an unprecedented increase in the elderly population. The social and economic effects of this shift are significant, and in Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, a group of leading researchers takes an eclectic view of the subject. Among the broad topics discussed are work and retirement behavior, disability, and their relationship to the structure of retirement and disability policies.

While choices about  when to retire are made by individuals, these decisions are influenced by a set of incentives, including retirement benefits and health care, and this volume includes cross-national analyses of the effects of such programs on these decisions. Furthermore, the volume also offers in-depth analysis of the effects of retirement plans, employer contributions, and housing prices on retirement. It explores well-established relationships among economic circumstances, health, and mortality, as well as the effects of poverty and lower levels of economic development on health and life satisfaction. By combining micro and macro evidence, this volume continues a tradition of expanding the research agenda on the economics of aging.

504 pages | 106 line drawings, 126 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2010

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Economics--General Theory and Principles, Health Economics

Table of Contents



David A. Wise

I. Disability, Work, and Retirement

1. Policies, and GDP

John B. Shoven

Comment: Erzo F. P. Luttmer

2. Work Disability: The Effects of Demography, Health, and Disability Insurance

Axel Börsch- Supan

Comment: Robert J. Willis

3. Labor Market Status and Transitions during the Pre- Retirement Years: Learning from International Differences

Arie Kapteyn, James P. Smith, Arthur van Soest, and James Banks

Comment: Michael Hurd

II. Education and Disability

4. The Education Gradient in Old Age Disability

David M. Cutler and Adriana Lleras- Muney

Comment: Anne Case

5. Social Interactions and Smoking

David M. Cutler and Edward L. Glaeser

Comment: Arie Kapteyn

6. Education and the Prevalence of Pain

Steven J. Atlas and Jonathan Skinner

III. Economic Circumstances and Health

7. Aging and Death under a Dollar a Day

Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Comment: Amitabh Chandra and

Heidi Williams

8. What’s Past Is Prologue: The Impact of Early Life Health and Circumstance on Health in Old Age

Anne Case

Comment: James P. Smith

9. Income, Aging, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll

Angus Deaton

Comment: Amitabh Chandra and Heidi Williams

IV. Retirement Saving

10. The Rise of 401(k) Plans, Lifetime Earnings, and Wealth at Retirement

James M. Poterba, Steven F. Venti, and David A. Wise

Comment: Robert J. Willis

11. The Impact of Employer Matching on Savings Plan Participation under Automatic Enrollment

John Beshears, James J. Choi, David Laibson, and Brigitte C. Madrian

Comment: Daniel McFadden

12. Housing Price Volatility and Downsizing in Later Life

James Banks, Richard Blundell, Zoë Oldfield, and James P. Smith

Comment: Steven F. Venti

V. Medicare

13. The Narrowing Dispersion of Medicare Expenditures 1997 to 2005

Jay Bhattacharya, Alan M. Garber, and Thomas MaCurdy

Comment: Jonathan Skinner

14. Mind the Gap! Consumer Perceptions and Choices of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

Florian Heiss, Daniel McFadden, and Joachim Winter

Comment: Amy Finkelstein


Author Index

Subject Index

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