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Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Among Older Adults and the Implications for the Retirement Age Debate: A Brief Report


  • Anna Zajacova
  • Jennifer Karas Montez
  • Pamela Herd


Objective. Policy debates about raising the full retirement age often neglect socioeconomic health disparities among U.S. workers. In response to this gap, we analyzed educational differentials in health among middle-age and older adults and translated the findings into age equivalents.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Zajacova & Jennifer Karas Montez & Pamela Herd, 2014. "Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Among Older Adults and the Implications for the Retirement Age Debate: A Brief Report," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 69(6), pages 973-978.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:geronb:v:69:y:2014:i:6:p:973-978.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Bound, 1989. "Self-Reported vs. Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," NBER Working Papers 2997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Anna Zajacova & Noreen Goldman & German Rodriguez, 2009. "Unobserved Heterogeneity Can Confound the Effect of Education on Mortality," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 153-173.
    3. Schoeni, R.F. & Martin, L.G. & Andreski, P.M. & Freedman, V.A., 2005. "Persistent and growing socioeconomic disparities in disability among the elderly: 1982-2002," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 95(11), pages 2065-2070.
    4. Zajacova, Anna & Rogers, Richard G. & Johnson-Lawrence, Vicki, 2012. "Glitch in the gradient: Additional education does not uniformly equal better health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(11), pages 2007-2012.
    5. Dwyer, Debra Sabatini & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "Health problems as determinants of retirement: Are self-rated measures endogenous?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 173-193, April.
    6. Liu, Hui & Hummer, Robert A., 2008. "Are Educational Differences in U.S. Self-Rated Health Increasing?: An Examination by Gender and Race," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(11), pages 1898-1906, December.
    7. Linda G. Martin & Robert F. Schoeni & Vicki A. Freedman & Patricia Andreski, 2007. "Feeling Better? Trends in General Health Status," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(1), pages 11-21.
    8. Yang Yang & Kenneth C. Land, 2008. "Age–Period–Cohort Analysis of Repeated Cross-Section Surveys: Fixed or Random Effects?," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 36(3), pages 297-326, February.
    9. David Warner & Mark Hayward & Melissa Hardy, 2010. "The Retirement Life Course in America at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(6), pages 893-919, December.
    10. Arline Geronimus & John Bound & Timothy Waidmann & Cynthia Colen & Dianne Steffick, 2001. "Inequality in life expectancy, functional status, and active life expectancy across selected black and white populations in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(2), pages 227-251, May.
    11. Scott Lynch, 2003. "Cohort and life-course patterns in the relationship between education and health: A hierarchical approach," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(2), pages 309-331, May.
    12. Crimmins, Eileen M. & Saito, Yasuhiko, 2001. "Trends in healthy life expectancy in the United States, 1970-1990: gender, racial, and educational differences," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(11), pages 1629-1641, June.
    13. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2007. "The health effects of education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 186-200, April.
    14. Mossey, J.M. & Shapiro, E., 1982. "Self-rated health: a predictor of mortality among the elderly," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 72(8), pages 800-808.
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