IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/max/cprpbr/008.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Changing Economic Circumstances of the Elderly: Income, Wealth, and Social Security

Author

Listed:
  • James P. Smith

Abstract

How is the economic status of the elderly changing and what are their prospects for the future? My portrait tells us how well off they are on average, but also about the vast disparities that exist among them. This description includes an often neglected measure of their economic well-being--the amount of wealth they control. Amazingly little is known about howmuch personal wealth older people have and how and what determines its distribution. But the conventional definition of household wealth ignores two critical components of wealth: the expected income flows from pensions and Social Security. For some elderly households, Social Security represents the largest part of their wealth. I conclude with some thoughts on one of the most sensitive and critical public policy issues--the necessity of reforming Social Security.

Suggested Citation

  • James P. Smith, 1997. "The Changing Economic Circumstances of the Elderly: Income, Wealth, and Social Security," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 8, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  • Handle: RePEc:max:cprpbr:008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/uploadedFiles/cpr/publications/cpr_policy_briefs/pb8.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard V. Burkhauser & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1994. "Social Security Reform: A Budget Neutral Approach to Reducing Older Women's Disproportional Risk of Poverty," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 2, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    2. James P. Smith, 2004. "Wealth Inequality Among Older Americans," Labor and Demography 0403003, EconWPA.
    3. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
    4. Smith, James P, 1998. "Socioeconomic Status and Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 192-196, May.
    5. James Smith & Raynard Kington, 1997. "Demographic and economic correlates of health in old age," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(1), pages 159-170, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Matilda White Riley, 1998. "The Hidden Age Revolution: Emergent Integration of All Ages," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 12, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    2. Jane Sneddon Little & Robert K. Triest, 2002. "The impact of demographic change on U. S. labor markets," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Q 1, pages 47-68.
    3. Clinton Lively, 2001. "Merrill Lynch & Co.: process risk management program," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    4. C. D. Zick & K. Holden, "undated". "An Assessment of the Wealth Holdings of Recent Widows," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1188-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:max:cprpbr:008. See general 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: (Margaret Austin) or (Candi Patterson) or (Katrina Wingle). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cpsyrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.