Explorations in the Economics of Aging

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The next two decades will mark a new phase in the demographic transition of the United States as baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare. Drawing on evidence from the United States and other nations, Explorations in the Economics of Aging yields important new findings on how economic decisions by households and policy choices by governments will influence the effects of this demographic shift. It explores topics such as the implications of differential mortality rates by income on Social Security, the link between cognition and economic outcomes, and scale variations in self-reported work disability. This volume will be an important reference for economists and policymakers alike.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David A. Wise is the John F. Stambaugh Professor of Political Economy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the area director for health and aging at the NBER.

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Table of Contents


David A. Wise and Richard Woodbury

I. Retirement Saving

1. Family Status Transitions, Latent Health, and the Post-Retirement Evolution of Assets
James M. Poterba, Steven F. Venti, and David A. Wise
Comment: David Laibson

2. How Does Simplified Disclosure Affect Individuals’ Mutual Fund Choices?
John Beshears, James J. Choi, David Laibson, and Brigitte C. Madrian
Comment: Steven F. Venti

II. Health Care Costs

3. The Risk of Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenditure at the End of Life
Samuel Marshall, Kathleen McGarry, and Jonathan S. Skinner
Comment: David R. Weir

4. Cost Growth in Medicare: 1992 to 2006
Amitabh Chandra, Lindsay Sabik, and Jonathan S. Skinner

5. The Demand for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage: Evidence from Four Waves of the Retirement Perspectives Survey
Florian Heiss, Daniel McFadden, and Joachim Winter
Comment: Amy Finkelstein

III. Socioeconomic Circumstances and Health

6. Differential Mortality by Income and Social Security Progressivity
Gopi Shah Goda, John B. Shoven, and Sita Nataraj Slavov
Comment: Michael D. Hurd

7. Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey
John J. McArdle, James P. Smith, and Robert Willis
Comment: Finis Welch

8. Aging, Religion, and Health
Angus Deaton
Comment: James P. Smith

9. Work Disability, Work, and Justifi cation Bias in Europe and the United States
Arie Kapteyn, James P. Smith, and Arthur van Soest
Comment: Angus Deaton

IV. Aging in Less Developed Countries

10. Is Decentralized Iron Fortification a Feasible Option to Fight Anemia among the Poorest?
Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Rachel Glennerster
Comment: Amitabh Chandra and Heidi Williams

11. Requiescat in Pace? The Consequences of High-Priced Funerals in South Africa
Anne Case and Alicia Menendez
Comment: Esther Duflo

Author Index
Subject Index

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