Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #41--July 6, 2000

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/caar-index.htm

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NOTE: Due to office relocations, there will be no CAAR report next week, July 13, 2000. The CAAR Report will return on July 20, 2000. Look for reports to come from my Data Library colleague Charlie Fiss from July 20 through mid-August, 2000, as I will be teaching a class in the UW Library School during this time.

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I. Data:

1. HRS/AHEAD DATA ALERTS: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study/Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (HRS/AHEAD) website announced 2 Data Alerts and a revised Data Alert on Jun. 30 and Jul. 3, 2000.

A. "Corrected supplement to HRS Wave 3 Preliminary Release Available" (Revised Data Alert).

http://www.umich.edu/~hrswww/center/alerts/epre009.html

B. AHEAD Wave 2 [1995] Public Release: "Codebook Correction - Additional Question Text for D1799B" (Data Alert #7).

http://www.umich.edu/~hrswww/center/alerts/dpub008.html

C. "1995 AHEAD Imputation Data Now Available" (Data Alert #8).

http://www.umich.edu/~hrswww/center/alerts/dpub009.html

HRS/AHEAD Data Center:

http://www.umich.edu/~hrswww/center/center.html

The imputation files can be found under "Public Release Datasets and Files." Note: users must register before downloading HRS/AHEAD data.
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II. Reports and articles:

2. UN REPORT: The United Nations has released _Human Development Report 2000_, (June 2000, .pdf format, 290p.). It is highlighted by 32 Human Development Indicators tables. The report can be downloaded in sections.

http://www.undp.org/hdr2000/english/HDR2000.html
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3. HCFA NEWS RELEASE AND _FR_ RULE ANNOUNCEMENT:

A. "Medicare Establishes New Payment System for Home Health" (Health Care Financing Administration News Release, Jun. 28, 2000).

http://www.hcfa.gov/news/pr2000/pr000628.htm

B. "Home health agencies; prospective payment system," (_Federal Register_, Vol. 65, No. 128, Jul. 3, 2000, p. 41128-41214, ASCII text and .pdf formats).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a000703c.html

Scroll to "Health Care Financing Administration" (about half-way down the page).
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4. OBSSR NIH REPORT: "Description of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research" (Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health, May 2000, .pdf format, 68p.). "At the request of the United States Senate, OBSSR submitted a report in May 2000 that provides an overview of behavioral and social sciences research at NIH. The Report includes the definition of behavioral and social sciences research as well descriptions of each Institute's BSSR activities."

http://www1.od.nih.gov/obssr/Senate%20Report%202000.pdf
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5. DHHS OEI OIG REPORT: The Office of Evaluations and Inspections of the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services has released "Unidentified Primary Health Insurance: Medicare Secondary Payer Auxiliary File" (OEI-07-98-00180, June 2000, .pdf format, 31p.).

>From the Abstract:

Overall, the MSP auxiliary file accurately documents primary insurance. Less than one half of one percent of beneficiaries in our sample with primary health insurance coverage were not identified in the file. We found only a few instances where other health insurance was undetected, with losses to Medicare of approximately $56 million in 1997. We also noted that the Initial Enrollment Questionnaire, which is designed to capture primary coverage information at the point of Medicare entitlement, does not always do so because a number of beneficiaries do not respond. We recommended that HCFA emphasize to providers the requirement that they obtain and report insurance coverage information at each beneficiary office visit. To increase the response rate for the questionnaire, we recommended several options for HCFA to consider. The HCFA generally concurred with our recommendations.

http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/a472.pdf
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6. _ECONOMIC REVIEW_ (FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ATLANTA) ARTICLE: "Are Displaced Workers Now Finished at Age Forty?" by Daniel Rodriguez and Madeline Zavodny (Vol. 85, No. 2, Second Quarter 2000, p. 33-47, .pdf format).

>From the Abstract:

The conventional wisdom that middle-aged workers face an increased risk of being displaced and increased difficulties after displacement is partially borne out by this article's analysis. Displacement rates among middle-aged workers rose relative to younger workers during the 1990s recession, and the relative likelihood of displacement for middle-aged workers has not returned to the levels of the 1980s. Thus, workers in their forties are relatively more likely to have been displaced in the 1990s than in the 1980s. However, the two postdisplacement outcomes examined here, reemployment and earnings losses, have not changed significantly over time for older workers relative to younger workers. According to the authors, the data also suggest that much of the concern about displacement may soon begin to abate. Displacement rates during 1995-97 returned to levels similar to those during the 1980s expansion. Reemployment rates for workers displaced during 1995-97 were at their highest levels for all age groups since the mid-1980s, and the gap between pre- and postdisplacement earnings has shrunk during the most recent period.

http://209.239.32.240/publica/eco-rev/rev_abs/00er/q2/rodriguezzavodny.pdf
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7. _MLR_ ARTICLE: "Expenditure patterns of older Americans, 1984-97," by Geoffrey D. Paulin (US Department of Labor _Monthly Labor Review_, Vol. 123, No. 5, May 2000, p. 3-28, .pdf format).

>From the Abstract:

Older consumers, who are expected to account for an increasing share of consumer expenditures, have spending trends similar to those of younger consumers; however the underlying tastes and preferences of subgroups of older consumers did not change significantly over the period studied. This article includes elements from earlier studies, but takes the analysis further: first, expenditure trends are analyzed for different age groups within the older population; second, experiments are designed to test whether tastes and preferences differ over time for older consumers.

http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2000/05/art1full.pdf
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8. NCHS REPORT: "National Hospital Discharge Survey: 1998 Summary," by Margaret J. Hall and Jennifer R. Popovic (National Center for Health Statistics, Advance Data 316, (PHS) 2000-1250, .pdf format, 17p.).

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/ad/311-320/ad316.htm

Click on "View/download PDF" for full text.
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9. _JAMA_ ARTICLE AND ABSTRACT:

A. "Survival in End-Stage Dementia Following Acute Illness," by R. Sean Morrison and Albert L. Siu (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 1, Jul. 5, 2000, p. 47-52, HTML and .pdf formats).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n1/full/joc00756.html

B. "Hospital Care of Patients With Dementia," by Don Riesenberg (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 1, Jul. 5, 2000, p. 87-89, HTML and .pdf formats). Note: This is a _JAMA_ editorial.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n1/full/jed00047.html
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10. _BMJ_ NEWS: "Spain to charge elderly for drugs," by Xavier Bosch (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 321, No. 7252, Jul. 1, 2000, p. 10, HTML and .pdf formats).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7252/10
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11. _ONCOLOGY ISSUES_ (VIA MEDSCAPE) ARTICLE: "Prevention and Treatment of Cancer in the Elderly," by Lodovico Balducci (_Oncology Issues_, Vol. 15, No. 2, March/April 2000, p. 26-28, HTML format).

http://www.medscape.com/23723.rhtml

or

http://www.medscape.com/ACCC/OncIssues/2000/v15.n02/oi1502.03.bald/oi1502.03.bald-01.html
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12. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Unraveling Alzheimer's," by Christine Gorman, (_Time_, Vol. 156, No. 2, Jul. 10, 2000).

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articles/0,3266,49057,00.html
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13. _US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT_ ARTICLE: "Retirement plans come in various flavors: 403(b)'s can leave a bad taste," by Paul J. Lim (_US News and World Report_, Jul. 10, 2000).

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/000710/nycu/pension.htm

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III. Working Papers:

14. NBER PAPERS IN AGING: "Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change," by Assar Lindbeck (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper W7770, June 2000, .pdf format, 28p.).

>From the Abstract:

The paper discusses the consequences for the functioning of different pension systems of various types of socioeconomic changes, mainly demographic developments, variations in productivity growth and changes in real interest rates. Two of the pension systems have exogenous and four have endogenous contribution rates. I analyze both marginal and radical pension reforms for the purpose of making pension systems more stable, avoiding arbitrary redistributions between generations and dealing with increased heterogeneity of the population in terms of family structure and international mobility. The advantages of combining PAYGO and actuarially fair systems are pointed out.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W7770

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.
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15. NBER WORKING PAPERS:

A. "A Framework for Assessing Estate and Gift Taxation," by Louis Kaplow (National Bureau of Economic Research W7775, July 2000, .pdf format, 57p.).

>From the Abstract:

Whether and how estates and gifts should be taxed has long been a controversial subject, and the approach to estate and gift taxation varies among developed countries. Arguments for and against various forms of transfer taxation have focused on concerns about the distribution of income and wealth, intergenerational equity, raising revenue, savings incentives, and other economic and philosophical issues. This essay has two purposes. The first is to examine the conceptual basis for various arguments for and against the current estate and gift tax regime and proposed alternatives. The second is to integrate policy analysis of transfer taxation with that of the rest of the tax system, notably, the income tax. The analysis begins by considering how it would be optimal to tax transfers if they are viewed as simply one of many forms of expenditure by donors, and then it explores how the distinctive features of gifts and bequests may alter the conclusions. The importance of different transfer motives is discussed, and the analysis is reconsidered in the light of the importance of human capital in intergenerational transfers; differences between inter vivos transfers and bequests, between gifts to individuals and gifts to charitable institutions, and among gifts to donees having varying relationships to the donor; and the possibility that transfers are not explained by maximizing behavior.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W7775

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

B. "Generational Conflict, Human Capital Accumulation, and Economic Growth," by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Mary E. Lovely, and Mehmet S. Tosun (W7762, June 2000, .pdf format, 32p.).

>From the Abstract:

Worldwide, dependency ratios are forecast to increase dramatically in the next 50 years. A great deal of attention has been devoted to understanding the changes in fiscal policies that must take place to accommodate these changes. In contrast, less effort has been concentrated on studying the fiscal shifts that will endogenously result from demographic pressures. An example of particular interest is the degree to which a more elderly population will support public spending for education. We use an overlapping-generations model to investigate the effect of this demographic transition on the endogenous determination of public spending for education. A demographic transition alters the identity of the median voter, leading to a preference for less education spending. If the public sector is inefficiently small, demographic transition exacerbates the underprovision of human capital. Alternatively, such a shift may trim an inefficiently large government, reduce tax rates and raise capital per worker enough to raise education spending. Thus, there is no automatic link between demographic transition and reduced support for those programs whose benefits are concentrated among the young.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W7762

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.
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16. CAROLINA POPULATION CENTER: "Disability-Free Life Expectancy of the Elderly of China," by Xiaochun Qiao (00-01, March 2000, .pdf format, 19p.).

http://www.cpc.unc.edu/services/infoserv/qiao.pdf
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17. YALE UNIVERSITY COWLES FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH IN ECONOMICS: "Social Security Investment in Equities in an Economy with Short-Term Production and Land," by Peter Diamond and John Geanakoplos (Discussion Paper 1259, June 2000, .pdf format, 42p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper explores the general equilibrium impact of social security portfolio diversification into private securities, either through the trust fund or via private accounts. The analysis depends critically on heterogeneity in saving, in production, in assets, and in taxes. Under fairly general assumptions we show that limited diversification increases a neutral social welfare function, increases interest rates, reduces the expected return on short-term equity (and thus the equity premium), decreases safe investment and increases risky investment. However, the effect on aggregate investment, long-term capital values, and the utility of young savers hinges on delicate assumptions about technology. Aggregate investment and long-term asset values often move in the opposite direction. Thus social security diversification might reduce long-term equity value while it increases aggregate investment.

http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d12b/d1259.pdf
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18. DEPARTAMENT D'ECONOMIA I EMPRESA (UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA [SPAIN]):

A. "The Social Value of Health Programs: Is Age a Relevant Factor," by Jose Luis Pinto (Working Paper 473, June 2000, .pdf and PostScript formats, 40p.).

>From the Abstract:

In cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) it is usually assumed that a QALY is of equal value to everybody, irrespective of the patient's age. However, it is possible that society assigns different social values to a QALY according to who gets it. In this paper we discuss the possibility of weighting health benefits for age in CEA. We also examine the possibility that age-related preferences depend on the size of the health gain. An experiment was performed to test these hypotheses. The results suggest that the patient's age is a relevant factor when assessing health gains.

http://www.econ.upf.es/cgi-bin/onepaper?473

Full text links are at the bottom of the abstract.

B. "Pay-as-you-go Social Security and the Distribution of Bequests," by Jordi Caball and Luisa Fuster (Working Paper 468, February 2000, .pdf format, 36p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper studies the impact of an unfunded social security system on the distribution of bequests in a framework where savings are due both by life cycle and by random altruistic motivations. We show that the impact of social security on the distribution of bequests depends crucially on the importance of the bequest motive in explaining savings behavior. If the bequest motive is strong, then an increase in the social security tax raises the bequests left by altruistic parents. On the other hand, when the importance of bequests in motivating savings is sufficiently low, the increase in the social security tax could result in a reduction of the bequests left by altruistic parents under some conditions on the attitude of individuals toward risk and on the relative returns associated with private saving and social security. Some implications concerning the transitional effects of introducing an unfunded social security scheme are also discussed.

http://www.econ.upf.es/cgi-bin/onepaper?468

A full text link is at the bottom of the abstract.

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

19. Ageing and Society (Vol. 20, No. 3, May 2000). Note: Click on titles for abstracts. This journal may be available in full electronic text (.pdf format) to your organization. Check your organization's library.

http://www.journals.cup.org/owa_dba/owa/issues?sjid=ASO&svid=20&siid=3
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20. Population and Development Review (Vol. 26, No. 2, June 2000). Click on titles for abstracts.

http://www.popcouncil.org/publications/pdr/pdrtoc.html
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21. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences (A) (Vol. 55A, No. 8, August 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/biocontents.html

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V. Websites of Interest:

22. AGING SOCIETY CHRONIC AND DISABLING CONDITIONS PROFILES UPDATE: The Aging Society has added a new profile: "Depression: A Treatable Disease" (Challenges for the 21st Century: Chronic and Disabling Conditions No. 9, July 2000, .pdf format, 6p.). Most of the data in this publication are taken from the 1994 National Health Interview Survey of Disability Phase I (NHIS-D), Wave 1 of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and Wave 1 of the study of Assets and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD).

http://www.agingsociety.org/depression.pdf

Chronic and Disabling Conditions Data Profiles:

http://www.agingsociety.org/profiles.htm


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