The Impact of Aging Baby Boomers on Labor Force Participation
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
The brief’s key findings are:
- Older people have lower labor force participation rates than younger adults, so aging baby boomers are pushing down overall participation.
- This aging effect accounts for more than 40 percent of the decline since the onset of the Great Recession.
- An aging population also lowers unemployment slightly because older individuals who remain in the labor force are more likely to have a job.
- The aging trend will continue for the rest of the decade and will show up in monthly labor force statistics.
Quantifying policy tradeoffs to support aging populations
Source: Demographic Research
Coping with aging populations is a challenge for most developed countries. Supporting non-working adults can create an unsustainable burden on those working. One way of dealing with this is to raise the normal pension age, but this has proven unpopular. A complementary approach is to raise the average labor force participation rate. These policies are generally more politically palatable because they often remove barriers, allowing people who would like to work to do so.
To conceptualize and estimate the trade-off between pension age and labor force participation rate policies.
We project the populations of European countries and apply different levels of labor force participation rates to the projected populations. We introduce the notion of a relative burden, which is the ratio of the fraction of the income of people in the labor market in 2050 that they transfer to adults out of the labor market to the same fraction in 2009. We use this indicator to investigate the trade-offs between changes in normal pension ages and the general level of labor force participation rates.
We show that, in most European countries, a difference in policies that results in an increase in average labor force participation rates by an additional one to two percentage points by 2050 can substitute for a one-year increase in the normal pension age. This is important because, in many European countries, without additional increases in labor force participation rates, normal pension ages would have to be raised well above 68 by 2050 to keep the burden on those working manageable.
Because of anticipated increases in life expectancy and health at older ages as well as because of financial necessity, some mix of increases in pension ages and in labor force participation rates will be needed. Pension age changes by themselves will not be sufficient.
Age and Scientific Genius
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research
Great scientific output typically peaks in middle age. A classic literature has emphasized comparisons across fields in the age of peak performance. More recent work highlights large underlying variation in age and creativity patterns, where the average age of great scientific contributions has risen substantially since the early 20th Century and some scientists make pioneering contributions much earlier or later in their life-cycle than others. We review these literatures and show how the nexus between age and great scientific insight can inform the nature of creativity, the mechanisms of scientific progress, and the design of institutions that support scientists, while providing further insights about the implications of aging populations, education policies, and economic growth.
ERC Documents Discrimination against Older Same-Sex Couples
Source: Equal Rights Center
Today the Equal Rights Center (ERC) —a national non-profit civil rights organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.— published the results of a 10-state testing-based investigation documenting adverse differential treatment against older same-sex couples seeking housing in senior living facilities.
The report, titled “Opening Doors: An Investigation of Barriers to Senior Housing for Same-Sex Couples,” documents the results of 200 matched-pair telephone tests conducted by the ERC in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. In 96 of the 200 tests (48 percent), a tester inquiring about housing in a senior living facility for a same-sex couple experienced at least one form of adverse differential treatment, as compared to a counterpart tester inquiring about housing for a heterosexual couple.
AARP Attitudes of Aging Study
A two-part study commissioned by AARP the Magazine. Part one was comprised of a Research Day with two three hour sessions consisting of six simultaneous focus groups. The Research Day’s intent was to help direct the quantitative portion of the research by better understanding:
- How adults age 45+ feel about aging
- What defines age. Is it the way one looks or the way one feels
- The impact of the prejudices of aging (ageism)
- The influence of society’s opinions on their perception of aging
- The impact of life events on their perception of aging
- How social connectedness and technology impact their perceptions of aging
Part two was an online survey of 1800 respondents consisting of attitudinal questions to answer the question, ‘What aging attitudes drive the overall satisfaction with life’? Attitudinal questions centered around the following items that were uncovered in part one of the research:
- Psychological growth and loss
- Health and physical changes
- Discrimination and prejudices
- Physical appearance
- Traditional and online social networks
Fit for the road: Older drivers’ crash rates continue to drop
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Today’s older drivers are not only less likely to be involved in crashes than prior generations, they are less likely to be killed or seriously injured if they do crash, a new Institute study shows. That’s likely because vehicles are safer and seniors are generally healthier. It’s a marked shift that began to take hold in the mid-1990s and indicates that the growing ranks of aging drivers aren’t making U.S. roads deadlier.
Climate change effects on human health: projections of temperature-related mortality for the UK during the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s
Climate change effects on human health: projections of temperature-related mortality for the UK during the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s (PDF)
Source: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
The most direct way in which climate change is expected to affect public health relates to changes in mortality rates associated with exposure to ambient temperature. Many countries worldwide experience annual heat-related and cold-related deaths associated with current weather patterns. Future changes in climate may alter such risks. Estimates of the likely future health impacts of such changes are needed to inform public health policy on climate change in the UK and elsewhere.
Time-series regression analysis was used to characterise current temperature-mortality relationships by region and age group. These were then applied to the local climate and population projections to estimate temperature-related deaths for the UK by the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. Greater variability in future temperatures as well as changes in mean levels was modelled.
A signiﬁcantly raised risk of heat-related and cold-related mortality was observed in all regions. The elderly were most at risk. In the absence of any adaptation of the population, heat-related deaths would be expected to rise by around 257% by the 2050s from a current annual baseline of around 2000 deaths, and cold-related mortality would decline by 2% from a baseline of around 41 000 deaths. The cold burden remained higher than the heat burden in all periods. The increased number of future temperature-related deaths was partly driven by projected population growth and ageing.
Health protection from hot weather will become increasingly necessary, and measures to reduce cold impacts will also remain important in the UK. The demographic changes expected this century mean that the health protection of the elderly will be vital.
2008-2012 American Community Survey Voting Age Population by Citizenship and Race
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
This tabulation from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey shows estimates of the citizen voting age population by race for small areas of geography.
The downloadable files show the population 18 and older by citizenship status and race for the nation, states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, counties, minor civil divisions, places, tracts and block groups. The files reflect both the population living in housing units and in group quarters, such as college dormitories. The new files and technical documentation along with previous versions of the files can be found on the Census Bureau’s Redistricting Data website.
This is the fourth year in a row that the American Community Survey has produced estimates of this population for even the smallest geographic areas. Prior to the American Community Survey, communities would have to wait 10 years for an update on the citizen voting-age population. Internet address: http://www.census.gov/rdo/data/voting_age_population_by_citizenship_and_race_cvap.html
Attitudes about Aging: A Global Perspective
Source: Pew Global Attitudes Project
At a time when the global population of people ages 65 and older is expected to triple to 1.5 billion by mid-century, public opinion on whether the growing number of older people is a problem varies dramatically around the world, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
Concern peaks in East Asia, where nearly nine-in-ten Japanese, eight-in-ten South Koreans and seven-in-ten Chinese describe aging as a major problem for their country. Europeans also display a relatively high level of concern with aging, with more than half of the public in Germany and Spain saying that it is a major problem. Americans are among the least concerned, with only one-in-four expressing this opinion.
These attitudes track the pattern of aging itself around the world. In Japan and South Korea, the majorities of the populations are projected to be older than 50 by 2050. China is one of most rapidly aging countries in the world. Germany and Spain, along with their European neighbors, are already among the countries with the oldest populations today, and their populations will only get older in the future. The U.S. population is also expected to get older, but at a slower rate than in most other countries.
Generational Differences in Perceptions of Military Advertising and Organizational Commitment (PDF)
Source: Association for Business Communication
The purpose of this pilot experiment was to compare and evaluate the attitudinal differences between generations about military service and its potential impact on military recruitment. Affective commitment is a concept that is typically associated with the organizational communication and psychology literature, but previous research has shown that consumers’ evaluative responses to advertisements and brands can lead consumers to develop commitment to those brands in much the same way that employees develop commitment to their organizations (Cistulli, Snyder & Jacobs, 2012). Participants evaluated current ads produced by the military and were asked to answer survey questions using instruments based on previous advertising attitudinal and organizational commitment research. Respondents from previously categorized generations (Gen Y and Baby Boomers) were asked to fill out the surveys. Results indicate that military ads have a high recall rate across all generations. T-tests showed significant differences between generations on attitude toward the military, affective commitment, normative commitment, personal enlistment discussion and enlistment referral discussion. The potential social implications of these results are discussed.
How Do Subjective Longevity Expectations Influence Retirement Plans?
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Increasing life expectancy has made working longer both more necessary and more possible, but the relationship between an individual’s survival expectations and his planned retirement age is unclear in the existing literature. This study uses the Health and Retirement Study and an instrumental variables (IV) approach to examine how subjective life expectancy influences planned retirement ages and expectations of working at older ages, and how individuals update those expectations when they receive new information. The estimates in this paper suggest a large and statistically significant relationship between subjective life expectancy and retirement expectations: a one-standard-deviation increase in optimism about living to ages 75 or 85 is associated with an 8-percent to 24-percent increase over the mean probability of working at these ages. Actual retirement behavior also increases with subjective life expectancy, but the relationship is somewhat weaker. Our IV estimates using parents’ longevity as instruments are largely consistent with our reduced form estimates, strengthening the conclusion that subjective life expectancy impacts both retirement planning and actual retirement behaviors. Finally, we find that increases over time in subjective life expectancy are associated with increases in the probability of planning to work at ages 62 and 65. The results further our understanding of how survival and retirement expectations are “anchored” to the previous generation’s experience and suggest how targeted efforts at increasing knowledge about rising life expectancy may increase the proportion of younger cohorts who decide to work longer.
Active lifestyles related to excellent self-rated health and quality of life: cross sectional findings from 194,545 participants in The 45 and Up Study
Physical activity and sitting time independently contribute to chronic disease risk, though little work has focused on aspirational health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between physical activity, sitting time, and excellent overall health (ExH) and quality of life (ExQoL) in Australian adults.
The 45 and Up Study is a large Australian prospective cohort study (n = 267,153). Present analyses are from 194,545 participants (48% male; mean age = 61.6 ± 10.7 yrs) with complete baseline questionnaire data on exposures, outcomes, and potential confounders (age, income, education, smoking, marital status, weight status, sex, residential remoteness and economic advantage, functional limitation and chronic disease). The Active Australia survey was used to assess walking, moderate, and vigorous physical activity. Sitting time was determined by asking participants to indicate number of hours per day usually spent sitting. Participants reported overall health and quality of life, using a five-point scale (excellent—poor). Binary logistic regression models were used to analyze associations, controlling for potential confounders.
Approximately 16.5% of participants reported ExH, and 25.7% reported ExQoL. In fully adjusted models, physical activity was positively associated with ExH (AOR = adjusted odds ratio for most versus least active = 2.22, 95% CI = 2.20, 2.47; Ptrend < 0.001) and ExQoL (AOR for most versus least active = 2.30, 95% CI = 2.12, 2.49; Ptrend < 0.001). In fully adjusted models, sitting time was inversely associated with ExH (AOR for least versus most sitting group = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.09, 1.18; Ptrend < 0.001) and ExQoL (AOR for least versus most sitting group = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.17; Ptrend < 0.001). In fully adjusted models, interactions between physical activity and sitting time were not significant for ExH (P = 0.118) or ExQoL (P = 0.296).
Physical activity and sitting time are independently associated with excellent health and quality of life in this large diverse sample of Australian middle-aged and older adults. These findings bolster evidence informing health promotion efforts to increase PA and decrease sitting time toward the achievement of better population health and the pursuit of successful aging.
Cervical Screening at Age 50–64 Years and the Risk of Cervical Cancer at Age 65 Years and Older: Population-Based Case Control Study
There is little consensus, and minimal evidence, regarding the age at which to stop cervical screening. We studied the association between screening at age 50–64 y and cervical cancer at age 65–83 y.
Methods and Findings
Cases were women (n = 1,341) diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 65–83 y between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2012 in England and Wales; age-matched controls (n = 2,646) were randomly selected from population registers. Screening details from 1988 onwards were extracted from national databases. We calculated the odds ratios (OR) for different screening histories and subsequent cervical cancer. Women with adequate negative screening at age 65 y (288 cases, 1,395 controls) were at lowest risk of cervical cancer (20-y risk: 8 cancers per 10,000 women) compared with those (532 cases, 429 controls) not screened at age 50–64 y (20-y risk: 49 cancers per 10,000 women, with OR = 0.16, 95% CI 0.13–0.19). ORs depended on the age mix of women because of the weakening association with time since last screen: OR = 0.11, 95% CI 0.08–0.14 at 2.5 to 7.5 y since last screen; OR = 0.27, 95% CI 0.20–0.36 at 12.5 to 17.5 y since last screen. Screening at least every 5.5 y between the ages 50 and 64 y was associated with a 75% lower risk of cervical cancer between the ages 65 and 79 y (OR = 0.25, 95% CI 0.21–0.30), and the attributable risk was such that in the absence of screening, cervical cancer rates in women aged 65+ would have been 2.4 (95% CI 2.1–2.7) times higher. In women aged 80–83 y the association was weaker (OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.28–0.83) than in those aged 65–69 y (OR = 0.12, 95% CI 0.09–0.17). This study was limited by an absence of data on confounding factors; additionally, findings based on cytology may not generalise to human papillomavirus testing.
Women with adequate negative screening at age 50–64 y had one-sixth of the risk of cervical cancer at age 65–83 y compared with women who were not screened. Stopping screening between ages 60 and 69 y in women with adequate negative screening seems sensible, but further screening may be justifiable as life expectancy increases.