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Some Demographic Consequences of Revising the Definition of 'Old' to Reflect Future Changes in Life Table Probabilities

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  • Frank T. Denton
  • Byron G. Spencer

Abstract

Sixty-five has long been used to define the beginning of 'old age'. Yet it is clear that the definition is arbitrary, and with continuing reductions in mortality and morbidity rates it will become increasingly inappropriate as time passes. We consider how the definition might be modified to reflect changes in life table probabilities, and how the future numbers and proportions in 'old age' would be affected. In a similar manner we consider also the redefinition of the 'oldest old' from a current definition of 85 and over.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2000. "Some Demographic Consequences of Revising the Definition of 'Old' to Reflect Future Changes in Life Table Probabilities," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 352, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:qseprr:352
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/qsep/p/qsep352.PDF
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frank Denton & Byron Spencer, 1999. "How old is old? Revising the definition based on life table criteria," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 147-159.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2003. "Population Change and Economic Growth: The Long-Term Outlook," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 102, McMaster University.
    2. Michael R. Veall, 2006. "The Top Shares of Older Earners in Canada," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 156, McMaster University.
    3. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2008. "What is Retirement? A Review and Assessment of Alternative Concepts and Measures," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 231, McMaster University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life table probabilities; old age;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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