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Should income transfers be targeted or universal? Insights from public pension influences on elderly mortality in Canada, 1921-1966

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  • J.C. Herbert Emery
  • Jesse A. Matheson

Abstract

We investigate the impact of Canada's means-tested and universal public pension programs on the mortality rates of age groups eligible for pension benefits for the period 1921-1966. We find that only the universal program significantly reduced pension eligible age group mortality rates. The implied social value of the mortality risk reduction from this program is one-tenth of the value per statistical life associated with contemporary government policy, meaning that Canadians did not need to place a high value on the life of a senior to justify the higher cost of the universal program. JEL classification: I3, J1

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 247-269

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:45:y:2012:i:1:p:247-269

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Cited by:
  1. Littlewood, Michael, 2014. "Ageing populations, retirement incomes and public policy: what really matters," MPRA Paper 56232, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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