How Fast Do Old Men Slow Down?
AbstractThis study uses data on men's track and field and road racing records by age to estimate the rate at which men slow down with age. For most of the running events (400 meters through the half marathon), the slowdown rate per year is estimated to be .80 percent between ages 35 and 51. At age 51 the rate begins to increase. It is 1.04 percent at age 60, 1.46 percent at age 75, and 2.01 percent at age 95. The slowdown rate is smaller for 100 meters. For the events longer than the half marathon, the rate is smaller through about age 60 and then larger after that. The slowdown rate is generally larger at all ages for the field events. Table 2 shows that the age-factors in Masters Age-Graded Tables are excessively variable and biased against older runners. Tables 3 and 5 present the age-factors implied by this study. These tables can be used to estimate one's projected time or distance by age. They can also be used by race officials for age-graded events. A brief comparison of the present results to results in the physiological literature is also presented in this paper. The main estimation technique used is a combination of the polynomialspline method and the frontier-function method. A number of the events have been pooled to provide more efficient estimates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3757.
Date of creation: Jun 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 76, no. 1 (1994): 103-118.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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Other versions of this item:
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
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- Schmidt, Peter, 1976. "On the Statistical Estimation of Parametric Frontier Production Functions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(2), pages 238-39, May.
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