Perspectives on the Economics of Aging

Perspectives on the Economics of Aging

David A. Wise

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226903057

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This book investigates several important issues in the economics of aging, including the accumulation of wealth and the relationship between health and financial prosperity. Examining the changes in savings behavior and investment priorities in the United States over the past few decades, it points to a dramatic shift from employer-managed, defined benefit pensions to employee-controlled retirement savings plans. Further, the legislative reforms of the 1980s and the booming stock market of the 1990s did their share to influence individual wealth accumulation patterns of Americans. The book also explores the relationship between health status and economic status. Considering issues like pension income and health, mortality, and medical care, it presents evidence from the United States, Britain, South Africa, and Russia. The volume culminates with wide-ranging discussions on a number of key topics in the field including the innovations that have contributed to a decline in mortality rates; the various medical advances that have benefited populations over time; and the determinants of expenditures on health. The findings with regard to cross-sectional differences in health outcomes and health care utilization also pose troubling questions for policymakers seeking to democratize health care across regions and races.

Table of Contents


David A. Wise

2 For Better or for Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior

James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte C. Madrian, and Andrew Metrick

3 Aging and Housing Equity: Another Look

Steven F. Venti and David A. Wise

4 Intergenerational Transfers and Savings Behavior

Jeffrey R. Brown and Scott J. Weisbenner

5 Wealth Portfolios in the United Kingdom and the United States

James Banks,Richard Blundell, and James P. Smith

10 Area Differences in Utilization of Medical Care and Mortality among U.S. Elderly

Victor R. Fuchs, Mark McClellan, and Jonathan Skinner

11 Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise?: Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status

Peter Adams, Michael D. Hurd, Daniel Mcfadden, Angela Merrill, and Tiago Ribeiro