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Exploring the Social and Economic Costs of Abuse in Later lIfe


  • Charmaine Spencer

    (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)


Abstract : Abuse and neglect of older adults (« elder abuse ») has a significant impact on the lives of the individuals involved. At the same time, it has a broader social and economic cost. Many of these are « hidden costs » in the sense that the cause of the underlying problem is not identified. Abuse and neglect of older adults affects resource allocation in health, community, and justice services, as well as private industry (banking, housing, insurance) and government reveues and transfers. In addition, abuse in later life can lead to substantial intangible costs for the individuals, families and communities. There are a number of significant barriers to fully exploring the costs of abuse in later life, including the lack of basic statistical data on prevalence/ incidence; significant gaps in government and community data; conceptual differences between other forms of domestic violence and elder abuse; and built in age sensitivities in traditional economic analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Charmaine Spencer, 2000. "Exploring the Social and Economic Costs of Abuse in Later lIfe," Law and Economics 0004006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0004006
    Note: Type of Document - Word (PC); prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP/PostScript/; pages: 20 . This is a summary of a report prepared for Health Canada, Family Violence Prevention Unit. Full report is 125 + pages. Phase Two is a feasibility study.

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    More about this item


    cost analysis; elder abuse; justice; health; community services costs;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • K - Law and Economics
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • K49 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Other

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