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A new perspective on population aging

Author

Listed:
  • Warren C. Sanderson

    (Stony Brook University)

  • Sergei Scherbov

    (Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU))

Abstract

In Sanderson and Scherbov (2005) we introduced a new forward-looking definition of age and argued that its use, along with the traditional backward-looking concept of age, provides a more informative basis upon which to discuss population aging. Age is a measure of how many years a person has already lived. In contrast, our new approach to measuring age is concerned about the future. In this paper, we first explore our new age measure in detail and show, using an analytic formulation, historical data, and forecasts, that it is, in most cases, insensitive to whether it is measured using period or cohort life tables. We, then, show, using new forward-looking definitions of median age and the old age dependency ratio, how combining the traditional age concept and our new one enhances our understanding of population aging.

Suggested Citation

  • Warren C. Sanderson & Sergei Scherbov, 2007. "A new perspective on population aging," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(2), pages 27-58, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:16:y:2007:i:2
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Kent Smetters, and Jan Walliser, 2001. "The Coming Generational Storm," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 276, Society for Computational Economics.
    2. Sally C. Stearns & Edward C. Norton, 2004. "Time to include time to death? The future of health care expenditure predictions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 315-327.
    3. Peter Zweifel & Stefan Felder & Andreas Werblow, 2004. "Population Ageing and Health Care Expenditure: New Evidence on the "Red Herring"," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 652-666, October.
    4. Tim Miller, 2001. "Increasing longevity and medicare expenditures," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(2), pages 215-226, May.
    5. Zhou Yang & Edward C. Norton & Sally C. Stearns, 2003. "Longevity and Health Care Expenditures," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 58(1), pages 2-10.
    6. Shiro Horiuchi, 2005. "Tempo effect on age-specific death rates," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(8), pages 189-200, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    aging; historical demography; life expectancy; median age; population forecasting; prospective age;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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