The Living Standards, Incomes and Accommodation Costs of Older New Zealanders Revisited
AbstractIn 2001 the then Ministry of Social Policy published a comprehensive study of the living standards of older New Zealanders. The current paper revisits the estimated relationship between material well-being and the current income and accommodation costs of older people, and questions the extent to which income and accommodation costs directly affect well-being or proxy for other factors. We first extend the estimated relationship between material well-being and current income to include the source of the income as well as its level. We find that controlling for different income sources roughly halves the estimated associative effect of income on material well-being. Furthermore, for a given level of income, those with higher fractions of either employment earnings or capital investment income have significantly higher material well-being scores, while those with a higher fraction of income from benefit allowances have lower scores. One interpretation is that these factors may proxy for other causal factors, such as health and wealth effects, rather than reflecting a direct income effect. Next, we extend the original specification between material well-being and accommodation costs to, first, include property rates as an accommodation cost and, second, to control for the type of housing tenure (freehold homeowner, mortgaged, renter, and no accommodation costs). We find that, controlling for housing tenure, the estimated effect of accommodation costs (including rates) is, at most, half that originally estimated and, for some specifications, insignificantly different from zero. Furthermore, controlling for the level of accommodation costs, mortgage holders and renters have significantly lower material well-being scores than freehold homeowners. These findings suggest that understanding what influences the material well-being outcomes of older people is not as straightforward as might be suggested by the simple association of certain variables.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 05/03.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64-4-472 2733
Fax: +64-4-473 0982
Web page: http://www.treasury.govt.nz
More information through EDIRC
Living standards; material well-being; current income; accommodation costs;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-07-03 (All new papers)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Web and Publishing Team, The Treasury).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.