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Adjusting Government Policies for Age Inflation

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  • John B. Shoven
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    Abstract

    Government policies that are based on age do not adjust to the fact that a given age is associated with a higher remaining life expectancy and lower mortality risk relative to earlier time periods due to improvements in mortality. We examine four possible methods for adjusting the eligibility ages for Social Security, Medicare, and Individual Retirement Accounts to determine what eligibility ages would be today and in 2050 if adjustments for mortality improvement were taken into account. We find that historical adjustment of eligibility ages for age inflation would have increased ages of eligibility by approximately 0.15 years annually. Failure to adjust for mortality improvement implies the percent of the population eligible to receive full Social Security benefits and Medicare will increase substantially relative to the share eligible under a policy of age adjustment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14231.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2008
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    Publication status: published as Adjusting Government Policies for Age Inflation , John B. Shoven, Gopi Shah Goda. in Demography and the Economy , Shoven. 2011
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14231

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    1. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1998. "Demographics and Medical Care Spending: Standard and Non-Standard Effects," NBER Working Papers 6866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    3. Eric French, 2004. "The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior," 2004 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Cited by:
    1. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire & Walsh, John R., 2009. "Pension Policy: New Evidence on Key Issues," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS14.
    2. Narciso, Alexandre, 2010. "The impact of population ageing on international capital flows," MPRA Paper 26457, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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