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Adjusting Government Policies for Age Inflation

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  • John B. Shoven

Abstract

Government policies that are based on age do not adjust to the fact that a given age is associated with a higher remaining life expectancy and lower mortality risk relative to earlier time periods due to improvements in mortality. We examine four possible methods for adjusting the eligibility ages for Social Security, Medicare, and Individual Retirement Accounts to determine what eligibility ages would be today and in 2050 if adjustments for mortality improvement were taken into account. We find that historical adjustment of eligibility ages for age inflation would have increased ages of eligibility by approximately 0.15 years annually. Failure to adjust for mortality improvement implies the percent of the population eligible to receive full Social Security benefits and Medicare will increase substantially relative to the share eligible under a policy of age adjustment.

Suggested Citation

  • John B. Shoven, 2008. "Adjusting Government Policies for Age Inflation," NBER Working Papers 14231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14231
    Note: AG PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric French, 2005. "The Effects of Health, Wealth, and Wages on Labour Supply and Retirement Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 395-427.
    2. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    3. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1998. "Demographics and Medical Care Spending: Standard and Non-Standard Effects," NBER Working Papers 6866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zou, Tieding, 2017. "延迟退休的制约因素、政策效果与动态研究方法评价
      [Restriction, Policy Effect and Dynamic Research Method to Delay Retirement]
      ," MPRA Paper 85556, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Jan 2018.
    2. repec:agr:journl:v:4(605):y:2015:i:4(605):p:309-320 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire & Walsh, John R., 2009. "Pension Policy: New Evidence on Key Issues," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS14.
    4. Andreea Claudia ȘERBAN & Mirela Ionela ACELEANU, 2015. "Current Demographic Trends – A New Challenge for the Labour Market," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(4(605), W), pages 309-320, Winter.
    5. Narciso, Alexandre, 2010. "The impact of population ageing on international capital flows," MPRA Paper 26457, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Social Policy and Population Section, Social Development Division, ESCAP., 2011. "Asia-Pacific Population Journal Volume 26, No. 3," Asia-Pacific Population Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 26(3), pages 1-84, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • 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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