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The New Demographic Transition: Most Gains in Life Expectancy Now Realized Late in Life

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  • Karen N. Eggleston
  • Victor R. Fuchs

Abstract

The share of increases in life expectancy realized after age 65 was only about 20 percent at the beginning of the 20th century for the United States and 16 other countries at comparable stages of development; but that share was close to 80 percent by the dawn of the 21st century, and is almost certainly approaching 100 percent asymptotically. This new demographic transition portends a diminished survival effect on working life. For high-income countries at the forefront of the longevity transition, expected lifetime labor force participation as a percent of life expectancy is declining. Innovative policies are needed if societies wish to preserve a positive relationship running from increasing longevity to greater prosperity.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen N. Eggleston & Victor R. Fuchs, 2012. "The New Demographic Transition: Most Gains in Life Expectancy Now Realized Late in Life," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 137-156, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:26:y:2012:i:3:p:137-56
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.26.3.137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. James M. Poterba, 2014. "Retirement Security in an Aging Population," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 1-30, May.
    2. Mukul Asher & Azad S. Bali, 2015. "Public Pension Programs in Southeast Asia: An Assessment," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 10(2), pages 225-245, July.
    3. Hippolyte d'Albis & Loesse Jacques Esso & Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, 2012. "Mortality Convergence Across High-Income Countries: An Econometric Approach," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12076, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    4. repec:bla:jorssa:v:180:y:2017:i:3:p:723-749 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2015. "World Human Development: 1870–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 220-247, June.
    6. Maria Gheorghe & Werner Brouwer & Pieter Baal, 2015. "Did the health of the Dutch population improve between 2001 and 2008? Investigating age- and gender-specific trends in quality of life," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(8), pages 801-811, November.
    7. Andre de Queiroz Brunelli, 2015. "Demand for Services Rendered to Families in Brazil in the 2000’s: An Empirical Analysis of Consumer Patterns and Social Expansion," Working Papers Series 381, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    8. Sau-Him Lau, 2013. "Does longevity improvement always raise the length of schooling through the longer-horizon mechanism?," 2013 Meeting Papers 292, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Laia Maynou & Marc Saez & Jordi Bacaria & Guillem Lopez-Casasnovas, 2015. "Health inequalities in the European Union: an empirical analysis of the dynamics of regional differences," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(5), pages 543-559, June.
    10. Lee, R., 2016. "Macroeconomics, Aging, and Growth," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    11. James M. Poterba, 2014. "Retirement Security in an Aging Society," NBER Working Papers 19930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Emanuele Felice & Josep Pujol Andreu, 2013. "GDP and life expectancy in Italy and Spain over the long-run (1861-2008): insights from a time-series approach," UHE Working papers 2013_06, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
    13. Marcello Basili & Filippo Belloc, 2015. "How To Measure The Economic Impact Of Vector-Borne Diseases At Country Level," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(5), pages 896-916, December.
    14. Laia Maynou Pujolras, 2013. "Health convergence analysis of the EU regions: 1995 and 2009," ERSA conference papers ersa13p88, European Regional Science Association.
    15. Lichtblau, Karl & Bähr, Cornelius & Millack, Agnes & van Baal, Sebastian & aus dem Moore, Nils & Korfhage, Thorben, 2015. "Zukunft von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft unter Minimalwachstumsbedingungen: Begründungsmuster, Folgen, Handlungsoptionen," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 123324.
    16. repec:eee:mateco:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:134-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Emily Oster & Ira Shoulson & E. Ray Dorsey, 2013. "Limited Life Expectancy, Human Capital and Health Investments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1977-2002, August.
    18. repec:sek:jijoes:v:6:y:2017:i:2:p:82-99 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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