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How old is old? Revising the definition based on life table criteria

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  • Frank Denton
  • Byron Spencer

Abstract

Sixty-five has long been thought of as the point of entry into “old age.”; We propose a number of life table criteria for answering the following questions: If 65 was considered appropriate four decades ago, what is the corresponding age today? If 65 was (implicitly) a male-oriented definition four decades ago, as we believe it was, what would have been the appropriate definition for women at that time, and what is it today? We address these questions by applying our criteria to Canada, using 1951 and 1991 life tables, but the criteria could be applied equally well to other countries. For other developed countries we would expect broadly similar results.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Mathematical Population Studies.

Volume (Year): 7 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 147-159

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Handle: RePEc:taf:mpopst:v:7:y:1999:i:2:p:147-159

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Keywords: Definition of old; life table criteria;

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Cited by:
  1. Maxim S. Finkelstein, 2003. "Age correspondence for different mortality regimes with and without the change point," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2003-039, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  2. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2000. "Some Demographic Consequences of Revising the Definition of 'Old' to Reflect Future Changes in Life Table Probabilities," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers, McMaster University 22, McMaster University.
  3. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 1999. "Population Aging and Its Economic Costs: A Survey of the Issues and Evidence," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports, McMaster University 340, McMaster University.
  4. Lynn McDonald, 1997. "The Link between Social Research and Social Policy Options: Reverse Retirement as a Case in Point," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press, vol. 23(s1), pages 90-113, Spring.
  5. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 1998. "Economic Costs of Population Aging," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports, McMaster University 339, McMaster University.
  6. Frank T. Denton & Christine H. Feaver & Byron G. Spencer, 2002. "Alternative Pasts, Possible Futures: A "What If" Study of the Effects of Fertility on the Canadian Population and Labour Force," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers, McMaster University 67, McMaster University.
  7. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 1999. "Population Aging and Its Costs: A Survey of the Issues and Evidence," Department of Economics Working Papers, McMaster University 1999-03, McMaster University.

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