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Policy challenges in Germany and Poland: what can we learn from the SHARE data

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  • Michał Myck

Abstract

The paper compares a set of health and labour market outcomes for three populations from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We analyse differences between the Polish aged 50+ and the respective German population divided into those who prior to the unification in 1989 lived in the East and West Germany. In terms of most analysed outcomes we find a "West-East gradient" with the most favourable statistics found for the west German population and the worst for Poland. The unfavourable situation on the labour market in Poland goes along poor health and lifestyle outcomes on most measures, and it seems that employment and health-related policies should be designed in combination to address the problems. The East–West divide in Germany still seems to present a policy challenge. We find important differences in such outcomes as labour market arrangements and such health outcomes as incidence of high blood pressure and diabetes. The East–West gradient is also found in the so-called underused capacity, i.e. the proportion of healthy individuals aged 50–65 who are not employed. The main factor behind this in Poland is retirement, while the difference in Germany is largely caused by higher levels of unemployment in the east

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Article provided by Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw in its journal Ekonomia journal.

Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): ()
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Handle: RePEc:eko:ekoeko:28_24

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  1. Dmitri A. Jdanov & Rembrandt D. Scholz & Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, 2005. "Official population statistics and the Human Mortality Database estimates of populations aged 80+ in Germany and nine other European countries," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-010, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  2. Haan, Peter & Myck, Michal, 2009. "Dynamics of health and labor market risks," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1116-1125, December.
  3. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
  4. Crossley, Thomas F. & Kennedy, Steven, 2002. "The reliability of self-assessed health status," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 643-658, July.
  5. Arjan Gjonca & Hilke Brockmann & Heiner Maier, 2000. "Old-Age Mortality in Germany prior to and after Reunification," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(1), July.
  6. Bound, John & Schoenbaum, Michael & Stinebrickner, Todd R. & Waidmann, Timothy, 1999. "The dynamic effects of health on the labor force transitions of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 179-202, June.
  7. Dmitri A. Jdanov & Rembrandt D. Scholz & Vladimir Shkolnikov, 2005. "Official population statistics and the Human Mortality Database estimates of populations aged 80+ in Germany and nine other European countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(14), pages 335-362, November.
  8. Viola Angelini & Agar Brugiavini & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "Ageing and unused capacity in Europe: is there an early retirement trap?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 24, pages 463-508, 07.
  9. Richard Disney & Carl Emmerson & Matthew Wakefield, 2003. "Ill health and retirement in Britain: a panel data based analysis," IFS Working Papers W03/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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