Insights in the Economics of Aging

Insights in the Economics of Aging

David A. Wise

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226426679

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This volume marks thirty years since the inception of the NBER program on aging, and is the sixteenth in a series of NBER volumes that highlight economics of aging research. When the program began, the baby boom generation was in their 20s and 30s, and life expectancy at older ages was nearly three years shorter than it is today. Today, the leading edge of the baby boom generation is entering their 70s. Many are retiring from paid work, yet they are living longer than ever. Their health and financial wellbeing are shaped by individual decisions people made through the life course; as well as by unanticipated events, economic conditions, medical innovations, and a rapidly evolving landscape of policy incentives and supports. What is most apparent from the mass of research conducted through the program over the years is how integrally related are the multiple dimensions of people’s wellbeing. The current volume is organized in three sections, corresponding to three aspects of wellbeing: financial, physical and emotional. The first four chapters look at factors relating to people’s financial circumstances in later life, such as saving, homeownership, and the use of accumulated assets in retirement. The next five chapters in the volume focus on health and disability. The last two chapters explore issues in mental health, emotional wellbeing, life satisfaction, or happiness.

Table of Contents


David A. Wise and Richard Woodbury

1 Trends in Pension Cash-Out at Job Change and the Effects on Long-Term Outcomes

Philip Armour, Michael D. Hurd, and Susann Rohwedder

2 Liquidity in Retirement Savings Systems

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

3 House Price Volatility and the Housing Ladder

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

4 What Determines End-of-Life Assets?

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

5 Understanding the Improvement in Disability-Free Life Expectancy in the US Elderly Population

Michael Chernew, David M. Cutler, Kaushik Ghosh, and Mary Beth Landrum

6 Are Black-White Mortality Rates Converging?

Amitabh Chandra, Tyler Hoppenfeld, and Jonathan Skinner

7 Measuring Disease Prevalence in Surveys

Florian Heiss, Daniel McFadden, Joachim Winter, Amelie Wuppermann, and Yaoyao Zhu

8 Challenges in Controlling Medicare Spending

Thomas MaCurdy and Jay Bhattacharya

9 Movies, Margins, and Marketing

Abhijit Banerjee, Sharon Barnhardt, and Esther Duflo

10 Suicide, Age, and Well-Being

Anne Case and Angus Deaton

11 Does Retirement Make You Happy?

Raquel Fonseca, Arie Kapteyn, Jinkook Lee, and Gema Zamarro