Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #318--December 22, 2005

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CAAR (Current Awareness in Aging Research) is a weekly email report produced by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cdha/caar.html

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NOTE! There will be no CAAR report next week. This service will resume Friday, January 6, 2006. Enjoy the Break!

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I. Data:

1. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: ICPSR at the University of Michigan has recently released the following datasets, which may be of interest to researchers in aging. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/membership/index.html

Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD), 2002: Cross-Sectional File (#3954)

http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/cocoon/ICPSR-STUDY/03954.xml

For a complete list of ICPSR new and updated studies in the last 90 days see:

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/access/recent.html

Click on "list". New studies are marked *new*.
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2. MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY: "2003 Compendium of Tables - Medical Expenditures" (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, December 2005). "Health Care Expenses in the U.S. Civilian Non-institutionalized Population, 2003."

http://www.meps.ahcpr.gov/MEPSNet/TC/TC15.asp?File=HCFY2003&Table=HCFY2003_PLEXP

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II. Reports and articles:

3. US CENSUS BUREAU COMPENDIUM: _Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006_ (December 2005, .pdf format, 1023p.). Selected earlier _SAs_ back to 1878, along with _Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970_ (all .pdf format) are also available at:

http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/statab.html
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4. US NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2004" (Vital and Health Statistics Series 10, No. 228, December 2005, .pdf format, 281p.). Note: This is a provisional report. It will be replaced with a final version.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_228.pdf
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5. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NEWS RELEASE: "More Than 21 Million Medicare Beneficiaries to be Covered For Prescription Drugs as of January 1, 2006" (Dec. 22, 2005).

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20051222.html
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6. US NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING NEWS RELEASES:

A. "Twins Comparison Suggests Genetic Risk for Dementia" (Dec. 19, 2005).

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/dec2005/nia-19.htm

B. "New Study Demonstrates Combined Techniques to Detect, Monitor Alzheimer's Disease" (Dec. 21, 2005).

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/dec2005/nia-21.htm
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7. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "State Referral of Nursing Home Enforcement Cases"(OEI-06-03-00400, December 2005, .pdf format, 30p.).

Abstract:

For this report, we reviewed administrative data and documentation for a sample of cases that warranted referral between July 2002 and June 2003. We found that States referred most nursing home cases warranting enforcement during the study period, but that almost 8 percent of such cases were not referred. Two problems accounted for 78 percent of these nonreferrals: difficulty identifying cases with a history of noncompliance, known as double G cases; and attempted referrals that were not recognized as such by CMS. We recommend that CMS address the failure to identify double G cases by clarifying and communicating specific double G criteria to both State and CMS regional office staff, and by providing technical assistance to States to improve State reviews of facility history. To address the incidence of attempted but unsuccessful referrals, we recommend that CMS develop a uniform referral process. The process should include a method for verifying that referred cases were received.

http://www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-06-03-00400.pdf
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8. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT, CORRESPONDENCE:

A. "Medicare and Medicaid Coverage: Therapies and Supplies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease" (GAO-06-63, December 2005, .pdf format, 60p.).

http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-63

Note: This is a temporary address. GAO reports are always available at:

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gaoreports/index.html

B. "Medicare: Contingency Plans to Address Potential Problems with the Transition of Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries from Medicaid to Medicare Drug Coverage" (GAO-06-278R, December 2005, .pdf format, 46p.). Note: GAO correspondence may not be archived.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d06278r.pdf
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9. US PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION REPORT: "An Analysis of Frozen Defined Benefit Plans" (December 2005, .pdf format, 12p.). The report is linked to from a PBGC press release: "9.4 Percent of Pension Plans Frozen, PBGC Study Says" (Dec. 21, 2005).

http://www.pbgc.gov/media/news-archive/2005/pr06-12.html
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10. US DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT: "Elderly Housing Consumption: Historical Patterns and Projected Trends," by Kevin S. Blake and Aleksandra Simic (November 2005, .pdf format, 38p.).

http://www.huduser.org/datasets/ahs/Elderly_Housing_Consumption.pdf
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11. MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY STATISTICAL BRIEF: "Prescription Drug Expenditures in the 10 Largest States for Persons under Age 65, 2003," by John P. Sommers (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Statistical Brief #107, December 2005, .pdf format, 6p.).

Abstract:

Using data from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-HC), this Statistical Brief presents estimates for prescription drug expenditures for persons under age 65 in the 10 largest States for the year 2003 and compares these estimates to the national average.

http://www.meps.ahcpr.gov/PrintProducts/PrintProd_Detail.asp?ID=721
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12. AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASES:

A. "New aged care places for Australia" (JB189/05, Dec. 15, 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2005-jb-bis189.htm

B. "Boost for culturally and linguistically diverse aged care" (JB190/05, Dec. 15, 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.).

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2005-jb-bis190.htm

C. "4,200 new aged care places for rural & regional Australia" (JB191/05, Dec. 15, 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.).

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2005-jb-bis191.htm

D. "Funding boost for Home and Community Care in WA (Western Australia):
(JB200/05, Dec. 16, 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.)

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2005-jb-bis200.htm
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13. AGEING RESEARCH ONLINE [AUSTRALIA] NEWSLETTER, DATABASE: Note: the below addresses may not resolve in non-Internet Explorer browsers. At the time of mailing, the main ARO address was not resolving. We suggest you try it again later if it doesn't resolve for you.

A. _Ageing Research Online Newsletter_ (Vol. 2, No. 4, December 2005, .pdf format, 4p.).

http://www.aro.gov.au/aro/NewsletterFiles/ARO%20Newsletter%20December%202005.pdf

B. "Final Report: Literature Database on Ageing Research: Research Network in Ageing Well" (Centre for Research & Education in Ageing (CREA), University of Newcastle [New South Wales, Australia], November 2005, .pdf format, 26p.).

http://www.aro.gov.au/WebStreamer?page_id=1622

C. "The Ageing Well Literature Database (2005, Microsoft Excel format).

http://www.aro.gov.au/WebStreamer?page_id=1620

More information on ARO:

http://www.aro.gov.au/
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14. CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH INFORMATION/INSTITUTE CANADIEN D'INFORMATION SUR LA SANTE REPORT: "National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975-2005," (December 2005, .pdf format, 169p.). Note: CIHI requires free registration before providing content.

http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/dispPage.jsp?cw_page=PG_404_E&cw_topic=404&cw_rel=AR_31_E
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15. CALIFORNIA CAREGIVER RESOURCE CENTERS REPORT: "A 20-Year Partnership in Caregiving" (2005, .pdf format, 20p.).

http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content/pdfs/anniv_rpt_20th.pdf

More information about Family Caregiver Alliance:

http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=349
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16. _DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH_ ARTICLES: Note: _DR_ is "a free, expedited, peer-reviewed journal of the population sciences published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research" [Rostock, Germany]:

A. "Lifesaving, lifetimes and lifetables," by James W. Vaupel (Vol. 13, Article 24, December 2005, .pdf format, p. 597-614).

Abstract:

Mortality change roils period rates. In the short term, conventional calculations of age-specific probabilities of death and life expectancy in the period immediately after the change depend on how many lives have been saved. In the long term, the probabilities and period life expectancy also depend on how long these lives have been saved. When mortality is changing, calculations of period life expectancy do not, except in special circumstances, measure the life expectancy of a cohort of newborns that hypothetically live all their lives under the new mortality regime.

B. "Mortality tempo versus removal of causes of mortality: Opposite views leading to different estimations of life expectancy," by Herve Le Bras (Vol. 13, Article 25, December 2005, .pdf format, p. 615 - 640).

Abstract:

We propose an alternative way of dealing with mortality tempo. Bongaarts and Feeney have developed a model that assumes a fixed delay postponing each death. Our model, however, assumes that changes take place with the removal of a given cause of mortality. Cross-sectional risks of mortality by age and expectations of life therefore are not biased, contrary to the model of the two authors. Treating the two approaches as two particular cases of a more general process, we demonstrate that these two particular cases are the only ones that have general properties: The only model enjoying a decomposable expression is the removal model and the only model enjoying the proportionality property is the fixed delay model.

Both articles can be accessed from:

http://www.demographic-research.org/

Click on "Enter".
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17. AARP ARTICLE, NEWS INTERVIEW, EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

A. "Reflections on the 2005 Global Aging Debate," by Ladan Manteghi (AARP Global Aging Program, December 2005).

http://www.aarp.org/research/international/perspectives/dec_05_manteghi.html

B. "Interview with Mr. Alan Pickering, Partner, Watson Wyatt Worldwide" (AARP Global Aging Program, Dec. 16, 2005).

http://www.aarp.org/research/international/news/Articles/dec_05_newsmaker.html

C. "The Business Case for Workers Age 50+: Planning for Tomorrow's Talent Needs in Today's Competitive Environment," by Towers Perrin (AARP Policy and Research Program Research Report executive summary, December 2005, .pdf format, 24p.).

http://www.aarp.org/research/work/employment/workers_fifty_plus.html
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18. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT: "An Implementation Perspective On Part D, The Medicare Prescription Drug Program," by Vernon Smith, Kathleen Gifford, and Sandy Kramer (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, December 2005, .pdf format, 24p.). "The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured convened a focus group of state Medicaid officials in November 2005 to discuss the impact of the new Medicare drug program on states and Medicaid enrollees. State insights on the transition of dual eligibles and some beneficiary experiences are discussed in new material and an audio briefing." The report, as well as other pertinent information, is available from this page.

http://www.kff.org/medicaid/kcmu121905pkg.cfm
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19. FAMILIES USA REPORT: "Falling Short: Medicare Prescription Drug Plans Offer Meager Savings," (December 2005, .pdf format, 19p.). The report is linked to from a Families USA press release: "Drug Prices in Medicare Plans Are 48 Percent Higher than Veterans' Prices" (Dec. 21, 2005).

http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/newsroom/press-releases/drug-prices-in-medicare-plans.html

Click on title at the bottom of the press release for link to full text.

More information about Families USA:

http://www.familiesusa.org/about/
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20. ILCUSA REPORT: "ILC Policy Report" (International Longevity Center, USA, December 2005, .pdf format, 6p.). The ILC Policy Report is "a monthly compilation of longevity news and trends in the U.S. and abroad."

http://www.ilcusa.org/_lib/pdf/Dec%202005.pdf
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21. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUES IN BRIEF: "The House and Living Standards in Retirement," by Alicia H. Munnell and Mauricio Soto (IB 39, December 2005, .pdf format, 5p.).

http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/ib_39.shtml
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22. EMPLOYEE RESEARCH BENEFIT INSTITUTE ISSUE BRIEF: "Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation: Geographic Differences and Trends, 2004,"(October 2005, .pdf format, 33p.).

http://www.ebri.org/publications/ib/index.cfm?fa=ibDisp&content_id=3590

Click on "Download Issue..." for link to full text.
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23. _PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES_ ARTICLE, ARTICLE ABSTRACT:

A. "Social relationships, sleep quality, and interleukin-6 in aging women," by Elliot M. Friedman, Mary S. Hayney, Gayle D. Love, Heather L. Urry, Melissa A. Rosenkranz, Richard J. Davidson, Burton H. Singer, and Carol D. Ryff (Vol. 102, No. 51, Dec. 20, 2005, HTML and .pdf format, p. 18757-18762). Note: This article is freely available to the public.

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/102/51/18757

B. "Solvent and mutation effects on the nucleation of amyloid {beta}-protein folding," by Luis Cruz, Brigita Urbanc, Jose M. Borreguero, Noel D. Lazo, David B. Teplow, and H. Eugene Stanley (Vol. 102, No. 51, Dec. 20, 2005, p. 18258-18263).

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/102/51/18258?etoc
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24. _JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Erectile Dysfunction and Subsequent Cardiovascular Disease," by Ian M. Thompson, Catherine M. Tangen, Phyllis J. Goodman, Jeffrey L. Probstfield, Carol M. Moinpour, and Charles A. Coltman (Vol. 294, No. 23, Dec. 21, 2005, p. 2996-3002).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/294/23/2996
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25. _NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE_ BOOK REVIEW EXTRACT: _Ending Life: Ethics and the Way We Die_, by Margaret Pabst Battin, reviewed by Diane E. Meier (Vol. 353, No. 25, Dec. 22, 2005, p. 2726).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/353/25/2726
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26. _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content. "Global prevalence of dementia: a Delphi consensus study," by Cleusa P. Ferri, Martin Prince, Carol Brayne, Henry Brodaty, Laura Fratiglioni, Mary Ganguli, Kathleen Hall, Kazuo Hasegawa, Hugh Hendrie, Yueqin Huang, Anthony Jorm, Colin Mathers, Paulo R. Menezes, Elizabeth Rimmer, and Marcia Scazufca (Vol. 366, No. 9503, Dec. 17, 2005, p. 2112-2117).

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673605678890/abstract

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III. Working Papers:

27. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH:

A. "Aging, Pension Reform, and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model," by Axel Boersch-Supan, Alexander Ludwig, and Joachim Winter (w11850, December 2005, .pdf format, 43p.).

Abstract:

Population aging and pension reform will have profound effects on international capital markets. First, demographic change alters the time path of aggregate savings within each country. Second this process may be amplified when a pension reform shifts old-age provision towards more pre-funding. Third, while the patterns of population aging are similar in most countries, timing and initial conditions differ substantially. Hence, to the extent that capital is internationally mobile, population aging will induce capital flows between countries. All three effects influence the rate of return to capital and interact with the demand for capital in production and with labor supply. In order to quantify these effects, we develop a computational general equilibrium model. We feed this multi-country overlapping generations model with detailed long-term demographic projections for seven world regions. Our simulations indicate that capital flows from fast-aging regions to the rest of the world will initially be substantial but that trends are reversed when households decumulate savings. We also conclude that closed-economy models of pension reform miss quantitatively important effects of international capital mobility.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W11850

B. "The Generational Divide in Support for Environmental Policies: European Evidence," by Joni Hersch and W. Kip Viscusi (w11859, December 2005, .pdf format, 28p.).

Abstract

This article examines age variations in support for environmental protection policies that affect climate change using a sample of over 14,000 respondents to a 1999 Eurobarometer survey. There is a steady decline with age in whether respondents are willing to incur higher gasoline prices to protect the environment. This relationship remains after controlling for socioeconomic characteristics. There are age-related differences in information about environmental risks, information sources about the environment, perceived health risks from climate change, and degree of worry about climate change. However, taking these factors into account does not eliminate the age variation in willingness to pay more for gasoline to protect the environment.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W11859

C. "Pensions for an Aging Population," by Peter Diamond (w11877, December 2005, .pdf format, 30p.).

Abstract:

After presenting the Gruber-Wise analysis showing a strong effect on retirement of implicit taxes from pension rules, it is shown that there is no effect of these implicit taxes on unemployment. This supports the argument for avoiding high implicit taxes on continued work. Also discussed are methods for adjusting benefits and taxes for increases in life expectancy, with particular attention to increasing "the retirement age." Calculations are presented showing the decreases in benefits for an increase in the normal retirement age in the US and the years of service for a full benefit in France.

http://www.nber.org/papers/W11877
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28. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH:

A. "The Retirement Consumption Conundrum: Evidence from a Consumption Survey," by Johnathan Fisher, David S. Johnson, Joseph Marchand, Timothy M. Smeeding, and Barbara Boyle Torrey (WP 2005-14, December 2005, .pdf format, 31p.).

Abstract:

While the life-cycle hypothesis predicts that consumption remains smooth during the transition from work into retirement, recent studies have shown that consumption declines at retirement. This empirical result has been referred to as the retirement consumption puzzle. Previous literature has most often relied on food expenditures to estimate the decline in consumption at retirement. We add to this literature by using broader definitions of consumption data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX), which is a survey designed to estimate total household expenditures. We conduct cohort analysis, using data on four cohorts over 20 years from 1984 to 2003. Our results using only food expenditures are on the lower end of the distribution of existing results. As we use broader measures of consumption, our results suggest that the retirement consumption conundrum decreases by more than half. Further, another contribution of this analysis is to widen the focus of the study of the well-being of the elderly. The retirement consumption puzzle does not tell the whole story on the well-being of the elderly. While we find that consumption-expenditures decrease by about 2.5 percent when individuals retire, expenditures continue to decline at about a rate of 1 percent per year after that.

http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/papers/wp_2005-14.html

B. "The Decline in Household Saving: What Can We Learn from Survey Data?" by Barry Bosworth and Lisa Bell (WP 2005-15, December 2005, .pdf format, 20p.).

Abstract:

We examine the saving decline from the perspective of microeconomic survey data on the wealth position of American households. Can the surveys provide information on the nature and causes of the saving decline that are not evident in the macroeconomic information? The analysis concentrates on data obtained from six Surveys of Consumer Finances (SCF) covering the period of 1983-2001. The SCF had a panel dimension only in the 1983-89 period. We conclude that the 1983-89 panel survey is a very valuable, but often ignored, exercise in measuring saving behavior. It is particularly instructive in demonstrating the heterogeneous nature of saving behavior and the dominant role of high-income households. Unfortunately, the panel component of the survey was discontinued after 1989. We conclude that cohort-based estimates of saving that can be derived from successive rounds of the SCF cross-section are not effective substitutes for a panel survey. The most substantial opportunity to improve our knowledge of the reasons for the decline in household saving would be to repeat the 1989 exercise by re-interviewing a portion of the households in each SCF survey.

http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/papers/wp_2005-15.html

C. "Demographic Interactions Between North and South and the Implications for North-South Capital Flows," by Ralph C. Bryant (WP 2005-16, December 2005, .pdf format, 55p.).

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the macroeconomic consequences of demographic differences between lower- income, less developed countries (the "South") and higher-income developed countries (the "North"). The analysis emphasizes the likely implications in the two regions for aggregate saving- investment imbalances, exchange rates, and the resulting net capital flows between North and South. An optimistic view of asymmetric demographic transitions among Southern and Northern economies suggests that the North can run a current-account surplus sizable in relation to the Northern economy, thereby transferring large net amounts of financial capital to the South. This paper argues that the optimistic view is a plausible summary of demographic influences on North-South capital flows in the historical period between 1950 and the mid-1970s. For historical decades after the 1970s and for the initial decades of the 21st century, however, the analysis suggests instead that asymmetric demography between the South and the North operates to reduce rather than increase the net flow of Northern savings to the South as a proportion of the Southern and Northern economies. This conclusion holds broadly for a range of alternative assumptions about the speed of the South's demographic transition. It also appears to hold regardless of whether Southern productivity growth is vigorous or sluggish, and regardless of whether cross-border goods substitutability is moderate or strong. Substantial research remains to be done to refine the paper's analytical framework and to test the robustness of this conclusion.

http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/papers/wp_2005-16.html

D. "How Portfolios Evolve After Retirement: The Effect of Health Shocks," by Courtney Coile and Kevin Milligan (WP 2005-17, December 2005, .pdf format, 32p.).

Abstract:

We study the household portfolios of the elderly using data from the Health and Retirement Study. In particular, we investigate the influence of aging and health shocks on both a household's ownership of various assets and the dollar value and share of total assets held in each asset class. We find that households decrease their ownership of most asset classes as they age, with the strongest evidence for principal residences and vehicles. Using several types of health shocks, we proceed to relate the observed asset changes to the onset of different health problems. Consistent with the previous literature, we find that the death of a spouse is a strong predictor of selling the principal residence. However, we find that more subtle health shocks have equally strong, although more gradual, impacts on the asset choices of the elderly. These findings help us to understand the methods by which and extent to which households are able to self-insure against some of the risks of old age.

http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/papers/wp_2005-17.html

E. "When the Nest Egg Cracks: Financial Consequences of Health Problems, Marital Status Changes, and Job Layoffs at Older Ages," by Richard W. Johnson, Gordon B.T. Mermin, and Cori E. Uccello (WP 2005-18, December 2005, .pdf format, 43p.).

Abstract:

The risk of falling into poor health, losing the ability to work or live independently, becoming widowed, and experiencing other negative events that threaten financial security increase with age. This report computes the incidence of these negative events at older ages and examines their impact on economic well-being. Over a 10-year period, more than three-quarters of adults age 51 to 61 at the beginning of the period experience job layoffs, widowhood, divorce, new health problems, or the onset of frailty among parents or in-laws. More than two-thirds of adults age 70 and older experience at least one negative shock over a nine-year period. Incidence rates are even higher at the household level for married people, who face the added risk that their spouses could develop health problems or lose their jobs. Financial consequences are especially serious for older adults who develop work disabilities or long-term care needs, or who become unemployed.

http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/papers/wp_2005-18.html

F. "Making Maximum Use of Tax-Deferred Retirement Accounts," by Janette Kawachi, Karen E. Smith, and Eric J. Toder (WP 2005-19, December 2005, .pdf format, 33p.).

Abstract:

The share of workers who participate in employer-sponsored tax-deferred plans has been growing, but is still only a minority of workers. Most workers do not contribute the maximum amount allowed by law to employer-sponsored plans. Maximum contributors are more prevalent among high-income compared with low-income workers, college graduates compared with those with less education, non-Hispanic whites and others compared with non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics, and single and married people, compared with those who are widowed or divorced. The percentage of participants who contribute the maximum to employer sponsored plans almost doubled between 1990 and 2003, but virtually all the growth in maximum participation came from groups with high shares of maximum contributors in 1990. The share of participants who are large contributors--defined as contributing the maximum or 10 percent of their earnings to plans--also nearly doubled. For large contributors, the growth came from all income and demographic groups, although growth also increased the most (in percentage points) for groups with large shares in 1990. Holding all other factors constant, we find an upward trend in the share of large contributors among high-earners, but not among low-earners. Shares of both maximum and large contributors are increasing more over time for higher than for lower earning groups. Recent increases in contribution limits can be expected to reduce shares of maximum contributors, but raise relative shares of maximum contributors among high earning and education groups. Increases in contribution limits do little to increase retirement preparedness among lower-income groups.

http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/papers/wp_2005-19.html
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29, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF AN AGING POPULATION (SEDAP) [MC MASTER UNIVERSITY, HAMILTON, ONTARIO, CANADA]: "Population Aging in Canada: Software for Exploring the Implications for the Labour Force and the Productive Capacity of the Economy," by Frank T. Denton, Christine H. Feaver, and Byron G. Spencer (Working Paper 146, December 2005, .pdf format, 146p.).

Abstract:

This report has two purposes: (1) to introduce a new version of the MEDS (Models of the Economic Demographic System) software; and (2) to apply it in a series of illustrative projections. The software is designed to illustrate the medium- to longer-term responses of the Canadian population and economy to a wide range of factors on either the demographic side, such as changes in rates of fertility, migration, and mortality, or the economic side, such as changes in the rate of technical progress or the educational attainment of young people or of new immigrants. "Standard" projections are provided, together with nineteen alternative projections. (For some illustrative projections, see QSEP Website--http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/qsep/). The range of projections indicates the breadth of applications for which MEDS has been designed. It serves also to provide some quantitative measures of the likely demographic and economic consequences of population aging, and indicates the scope for evaluating policy initiatives by means of simulation.

http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap146.pdf
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30. SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE [SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA]: "Pension Contributions as a Commitment device: evidence of sophistication among time-inconsistent households," by Patricia Sourdin (WP 2005-17, October 2005, .pdf format, 34p.).

Abstract:

Sophisticated agents with self-control problems value commitment devices that constrain future choices. Using Australian household data, I test whether these households value commitment devices in the form of illiquid pension contributions. Applying various probabilistic choice models, the results confirm the conjecture that households with problems of self-control are more likely to invest in illiquid pensions while less likely to hold very liquid forms of assets.

http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/research/wpapers/doc/econwp05-17.pdf
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31. BIBLIOTECA DI ECONOMIA [UNIVERSITA DI PARMA, ITALY]: "Labour market regulation and retirement age," by Marco Magnani (December 2005, .pdf format, 45p.).

Abstract:

Pension system and labor market reforms are widely debated issues in all industrialized countries and especially in Europe; any change over these two aspects of the Social Security System indeed, can affect heavily the functioning of the whole economy.A preeminent role in this sense is played by employment protection regulation and by the mandatory retirement age; in this paper I focus on the political economy of such social policies jointly and consider the interaction between the choice over the protection of the employees in the labour market and that over retirement age. In particular, I look at the effects of the turnover generated either by temporary, selective exits due to the dynamic of the labour market or by permanent, non-selective exits due to retirements. The degree of employment protection and the mandatory retirement age emerge as a result of the political bargaining between three social groups: young, high and low productivity old. Workforce composition in this setting defines the efficiency of the economy and determine the rise of a social consensus towards different assets of the Social Security System.

http://swrwebeco.econ.unipr.it/RePEc/pdf/I_2005-02.pdf

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IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

32. Age and Ageing (Vol. 35, No. 1, January 2006).

http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/vol35/issue1/index.dtl?etoc

33. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 163, No. 1, Jan. 1, 2006).

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/vol163/issue1/index.dtl?etoc

34. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Vol. 42, No. 2, March-April 2006).

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01674943

35. Journal of Aging Studies (Vol. 20, No. 1, January 2006). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/08904065

36. Medical Care (Vol. 44, No. 1, January 2006).

http://www.lww-medicalcare.com/pt/re/medcare/issuelist.htm

37. Population and Development Review (Vol. 31, No. 4, December 2005).

http://www.popcouncil.org/publications/pdr/vol31_4.html
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38. AMEDEO MEDICAL LITERATURE: Note: "AMEDEO has been created to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, other members of the health professions, and patients and their friends. They can easily access timely, relevant information within their respective fields... All AMEDEO services are free of charge. This policy was made possible thanks to generous unrestricted educational grants provided by AMGEN, Berlex, Eisai, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Schering AG."

A. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of Dec. 21, 2005:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/ost.htm

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Dec. 21, 2005:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/ad.htm

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Dec. 21, 2005:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/pd.htm

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Dec. 21, 2005:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/prc.htm

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Dec. 21, 2005:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/stc.htm

F. Ophthalmology Research: Literature for the week of Dec. 21, 2005:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/eye.htm

AMEDEO Literature Guide:

http://www.amedeo.com/index.htm

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V. Funding Opportunities:

39. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:

A. "Innovations in Biomedical Computational Science and Technology Initiative (STTR [R41/R42])" (PAR-06-089, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies, Dec. 19, 2005). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-06-089.html

B. "Innovations in Biomedical Computational Science and Technology Initiative (SBIR [R43/R44]) (PAR-06-088, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies, Dec. 19, 2005). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-06-088.html

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VI. Conferences/Workshops:

40. STANFORD WORKSHOP IN BIODEMOGRAPHY, to be held Feb. 10-12, 2006. in Napa California (supported by the US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Child Health and Development, and Stanford [California] University. "We invite applications from graduate students, post-docs and junior faculty to attend this workshop. The subjects of the workshop include (1) the evolution of senescence and life histories, (2) the use of genetic and other biomarkers in studying fertility & mortality, especially in conjunction with traditional socioeconomic survey data, (3) the use of twin registries for the same sorts of questions, (4) the use of molecular genetic data in the same and related areas, and (5) reproductive biology & physiology in relation to demography. Lectures and discussions will describe progress and methods in these areas. A principal objective is to stimulate discussion about the sorts of questions that can reasonably be asked, what pitfalls to look out for, and what areas are most exciting. We can admit 16 students with priority to graduate students. We will cover costs for students from the US including travel (lowest coach airfare, airport transfers), accommodation in double rooms (sharing with another student), and meals. Single rooms may be available if the student pays the additional cost; we cannot accommodate accompanying persons. The workshop begins the morning of February 10 and ends at noon on February 12.

Applications should be sent by email as soon as possible and no later than January 10, 2006, to Ms. Norma Malina (norma.malina@stanford.edu; telephone 650-723-6311). Provide (1) a brief letter stating your current position (student, post-doc, etc.) and your research interests in biodemography; (2) a curriculum vita; and (3) the name, email address and telephone of your research supervisor (for students and post-docs) or a professional reference (for faculty). Decisions will be made by January 15, 2006."

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VII. Legislation Information Updates:

41. U.S. SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR, AND PENSIONS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "An Approach to Drug Importation, on Examining S. 334, to Amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act With Respect to the Importation of Prescription Drugs," a hearing held Apr. 19, 2005 (Senate Hearing 109-43, ASCII text and .pdf format, 72p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate15sh109.html

Scroll to or "find in page" "109-143" (without the quotes).
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42. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR, AND PENSIONS HEARING PUBLICATION: "Planning for an Aging Population: The Administration's Recommendations for the Older Americans Act Reauthorization," a hearing held May 17, 2005 (Senate. Hearing 109-132, ASCII text and .pdf format, 37p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate15sh109.html

Scroll to or "find in page" "109-132" (without the quotes).
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43. US HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "Social Security Reform: Successes and Lessons Learned," a hearing held May 5, 2005 (House Serial Publication 109-25, ASCII text and .pdf format, 136p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/house/house03ch109.html

Scroll to or "find in page" "109-25" (without the quotes).

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VIII. Websites of Interest:

44. Kaiser Family Foundation statehealthfacts.org Update: Kaiser has recently updated this website. Items listed from Nov. 22, 2005 through Dec. 21, 2005 are either new or updated.

http://statehealthfacts.org/cgi-bin/healthfacts.cgi?action=whatsnew
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45. AARP PORTFOLIO: "Portfolio on the British Pension System (December 2005). This page contains annotated links to information on the British pension system.

http://www.aarp.org/research/international/portfolio/british_pensions.html

--
Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology and Center for
Demography of Health and Aging
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-9827
jsolock@ssc.wisc.edu