Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #62--December 7, 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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I. Data:

1. CENSUS BUREAU: The US Census Bureau has released a CD-ROM of Current Population Survey Supplements covering all supplements between 1995 and 2000. Complete technical documentation (.pdf format) is included on the CD. Many files are also accompanied by electronic data dictionaries. For more information about the contents of the CD, as well as pricing information, see:

http://www.census.gov/mp/www/rom/msrom5fb.html

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II. Reports and articles:

2. SSA OP RESEARCH AND STATISTICS NOTE; REPORT:

A. "Distribution of Zero-Earnings Years by Gender, Birth Cohort, and Level of Lifetime Earnings" (US Social Security Administration Office of Policy Research and Statistics Note No. 2000-02, November 2000, .pdf format, 10p.).

Abstract:

This note uses data from the Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) project to estimate the distribution of zero-earnings years by gender, birth cohort, and level of lifetime earnings from 1951 to 1996. The analysis is focused mainly on zero-earnings years that fall within a worker's highest 35 years of earnings, because only these years are used in the calculation of benefits.

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/pubs/rsn/rsn2000-02.pdf

B. "The Supplemental Security Income Program at the Millennium" (US Social Security Administration Office of Policy, December 2000, .pdf format, .53p.).

Abstract:

This report reviews the evolution and changing demographics of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and current policy challenges after a quarter century of service to low-income aged, blind, and disabled persons. With a mix of data and policy analysis, the document examines the success of the program in providing economic security for the beneficiaries. It presents options for enhancing that function as well as options for simplifying the SSI program. Finally, the report updates the payment accuracy and program integrity initiatives set forth in the 1998 report, _Management of the Supplemental Security Income Program: Today and
in the Future_.

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/programs/SSI/millennium/index.html

Click on "Entire publication" for full text.
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3. HCFA REPORT: "Estimated Sustainable Growth Rate and Final Conversion Factor, for Medicare Payments to Physicians in 2001" (US Health Care Financing Administration, Nov. 2000, HTML and .pdf format, 6p.).

http://www.hcfa.gov/pubforms/actuary/sgr/
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4. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Genome-wide study of aging and oxidative stress response in Drosophilamelanogaster," by Sige Zou, Sarah Meadows, Linda Sharp, Lily Y. Jan, and Yuh Nung Jan (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 97, No. 25, December 5, 2000, p. 13726-13731). Note: Electronic full-text of this article (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check with your organization's library for availability.

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/25/13726
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5. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Current and Projected Workforce Requirements for Care of the Critically Ill and Patients With Pulmonary Disease: Can We Meet the Requirements of an Aging Population?" by Derek C. Angus, Mark A. Kelley, Robert J. Schmitz, Alan White, and John Popovich, Jr., for the Committee on Manpower for Pulmonary and Critical Care Societies (COMPACCS) of the American Medical Association (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 21, Dec. 6, 2000, p. 2762-2770). Note: full electronic text of this article (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your library for availability.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n21/abs/jce00009.html
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6. _BMJ_ NEWS ROUNDUP:

"US bill on pain relief bars doctor assisted suicide," by Fred Charatan (_British Medical Journal_ News Roundup, Vol. 321, No. 7273, Dec. 2, 2000, p. 1369, HTML and .pdf format).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7273/1369
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7. _JOURNAL OF THE SOUTHERN ORTHOPAEDIC ASSOCIATION_ VIA MEDSCAPE ARTICLES: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Physical Impairment and Functional Outcome in Patients Having Lower Extremity Fractures After Age 65," by Brodie E. McKoy, and Langdon A. Hartsock (_Journal of the Southern Orthopaedic Association_, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall 2000, p. 161-168, HTML format).

http://www.medscape.com/SMA/JSOA/2000/v09.n03/soa0903.01.mcko/soa0903.01.mcko-01.html

B. "Preoperative Administration of Epoetin alfa to Reduce Transfusion Requirements in Elderly Patients Having Primary Total Hip or Knee Reconstruction," by Robert A. Lofthouse, Marilyn A. Boitano, James R. Davis, and Riyaz H. Jinnah (_Journal of the Southern Orthopaedic Association_, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall 2000, p. 175-181, HTML format).

http://www.medscape.com/30705.rhtml?srcmp=msmkt-120100

or

http://www.medscape.com/SMA/JSOA/2000/v09.n03/soa0903.03.loft/soa0903.03.loft-01.html
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8. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: Note: These are audio transcripts and listeners will need the RealPlayer plug-in or helper application to hear them. Nov. 7, 2000: "Not-The-Usual Rules for Aging." "With the aging of America has come a barrage of books advising us all how to grow older healthily, wealthily and wisely. Writer, editor and now professor Roger Rosenblatt joined this fray - but with a tongue in his cheek and a twinkle in his eye. He talks with Mike Cuthbert about his Rules for Aging that begin with: "resist normal impulses." Running time: 23 minutes 57 seconds.

http://www.aarp.org/ontheair/ptrtopics.html

Scroll to 11/7/00: "Not-The-Usual Rules for Aging".
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9. _NEWSWEEK_ ARTICLE: "The Meaning of Falling," by Claudia Kalb (_Newsweek_, Dec. 11, 2000).

http://www.msnbc.com/news/497856.asp
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10. _US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT_ ARTICLE: "Workers come up short on retirement" (_US News and World Report_, Dec. 11, 2000).

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/001211/nycu/invest.b.htm

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III. Working Papers:

11. NBER WORKING PAPERS IN AGING: "The Effects of 401(k) Plans on Household Wealth: Differences Across Earnings Groups," by Eric M. Engen and William G. Gale (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. W8032, December 2000, .pdf format, 56p.).

Abstract:

This paper provides a new econometric specification and new evidence on the impact of 401(k) plans on household wealth. We allow the impact of 401(k)s to vary over both time and earnings groups. Our specification--motivated by a variety of theoretical considerations and data patterns--generalizes earlier work in the literature, and we show that the modeling constraints imposed by previous authors are rejected by the data. Using data from 1987 and 1991 from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we find that the effects of 401(k)s on household wealth vary significantly by earnings level. Our analysis implies that 401(k)s held by groups with low earnings, who hold a small portion of 401(k) balances, are more likely to represent additions to net wealth than 401(k)s held by high-earning groups, who hold the bulk of 401(k) assets. Overall, between 0 and 30 percent of 401(k) balances represent net additions to private saving in the sample period.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8032

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.
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12. IMF: "Pension Reform, Private Saving, and the Current Account in a Small Open Economy," by Axel Schimmelpfennig (International Monetary Fund Working Paper WP/00/171, October 2000, .pdf format, 29p.).

Abstract:

The Macroeconomic implications of a pension reform that substitutes a high-return fully-funded system for a low-return pay-as-you-go system are discussed in an overlapping generations, neoclassical growth model. With forward-looking individuals, a debt-financed reform worsens the current account, while a tax-financed reform leaves the current account unchanged. With myopic individuals, a debt-financed reform leaves the current account unchanged, while a tax-financed reform improves the current account. Hence tax-financing, which is equivalent to pre-funding, should be the preferred strategy in a small open economy with a weak current account position.

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.cfm?sk&sk=3825.0

Click on "Full Text in PDF format" for full text.
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13. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH:

A. "Social Security and Retirement," by Courtney Coile and Jonathan Gruber (WP #2000-11, December 2000, .pdf format, 56p.).

Abstract:

A critical question for Social Security policy is how program incentives affect retirement behavior. We use the wealth of new data available through the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) to examine the impact of Social Security incentives on male retirement. We implement forward-looking models of retirement whereby individuals consider not just the incentives to work in the next year but in all future years as well. We find that such forward looking incentive measures for Social Security are significant determinants of retirement decisions. Our findings suggest that Social Security policies which increase the incentives to work at older ages can significantly reduce the exit rate of older workers from the labor force.

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/csom/executive/crr/wp_2000-11.shtml

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

B. "What Determines 401(k) Participation and Contributions?" by Alicia H. Munnell, Annika Sundn and Catherine Taylor (WP #2000-12, December 2000, .pdf format, 23p.).

Abstract:

This paper uses the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances to identify the factors that determine whether an eligible employee elects to participate in a 401(k) plan and the magnitude of the employee's contribution. The conclusion is that the most important factor affecting employees participation and contribution decisions is their planning horizon. Those with planning periods of less than two years are much less likely to provide for retirement than those who have a more long-term perspective. These results are consistent with other studies suggesting that employee education can have a major impact on retirement saving. On the plan side, the most important determinants are the availability of an employer match and the ability of employees to gain access to their funds before retirement through withdrawal or borrowing. In short, good information about the need for retirement saving and good plan design can significantly increase participation and contributions. The question is whether employers have the incentive to make this effort under the new safe harbor nondiscrimination provisions.

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/csom/executive/crr/wp_2000-12.shtml

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.
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14. INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES, STOCKHOLM (SWEDEN) UNIVERSITY:

A. "Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change," by Assar Lindbeck (Seminar Paper No. 685, May 2000, .pdf format, 34p.).

Abstract:

In developed countries, pension systems emerged as a political response to socio-economic changes brought about by industrialisation and urbanisation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, new socio-economic changes create both rationales and political forces for revisions of existing pension systems. Changes in demography, real wage growth and real interest rates are perhaps the most obvious examples. Increased instability of the family, more heterogeneity among individuals, greater international mobility of labour and capital, and ambitions to encourage individual responsibility also have important implications for pension systems. When discussing these issues, it is useful to set up a more elaborate classification of pension systems than the usual distinction between defined-benefit (DB) and defined-contribution (DC) systems. The choice of an appropriate taxonomy depends, of course, on the issues to be raised. One question that is focused on in this paper concerns the consequences of socio-economic shocks on the distribution of income and the sharing of income risk among generations. It turns out that the distinction between pension systems with exogenous and endogenous contribution rates (tax rates) then becomes crucial. But the paper also deals with socio-economic changes that are induced by the pension system itself via behavioural adjustments of individuals and the feedback of these changes on the pension system. When dealing with such adjustments, highly relevant features of pension systems are the degree to which they are actuarial and funded, respectively two aspects that are related but not identical.

http://swopec.hhs.se/iiessp/abs/iiessp0685.htm

Click on "AL%20685.pdf" at the bottom of the page for full text.

B. "Five Fallacies in the Social Security Debate," by Mats Persson (Seminar Paper No. 686, June 2000, .pdf format, 24p.).

Abstract:

This paper discusses five examples of the conventional wisdom that has often been expressed in the social security debate, even among academic economists. These are: 1. The major problem in most social security systems is that of demography: people simply live too long. 2. Disregarding the issue of demography, a Pay-As-You-Go system is inferior to a fully funded system since the former usually has a lower rate of return. 3. Disregarding the portfolio aspect (which might favor a PAYG system), a funded system dominates a PAYG system in a world of certainty. 4. The social security system is a suitable instrument for intergenerational risk sharing. 5. The government is a safe and reliable provider of insurance.

http://swopec.hhs.se/iiessp/abs/iiessp0686.htm

Click on "MP%20686.pdf" at the bottom of the page for full text.

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

15. The Gerontologist (Vol. 40, No. 6, December 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/tgcontents.htm

16. Journal of Gerontology Biological Sciences (A) (Vol. 55A, No. 12, December 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

17. Journal of Gerontology Medical Sciences (A) (Vol. 55A, No. 12, December 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/medcontents.html
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18. CARL Uncover Journal Tables of Contents. Follow the instructions below to access tables of contents. CARL Uncover provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

http://uncweb.carl.org:80/

B. click on "Search Uncover"
C. click on "Search Uncover Now"
D. Type the Journal Name in the search box and click the radio button "Journal Title Browse"
E. click on the journal name
F. click on "journal issues"
G. click on the issues identified below

Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal (Vol. 29, No. 2, December 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.

Journal of Adult Development (Vol. 7 No. 4, October 2000).

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V. Books:

19. NBER:

A. _Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 15_, edited by James M. Poterba (National Bureau of Economic Research, from a conference held Oct. 30, 2000, forthcoming from MIT Press). The chapter "Medicare and the Federal Budget: Past Experience, Current Policy, Future Prospects," by Mark McClellan (.pdf format, 48p.), has been made electronically available.

http://www.nber.org/books/tpe15/index.html

Scroll to "Medicare and the Federal Budget: Past Experience, Current Policy, Future Prospects".

B. _Distributional Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform_, edited by Martin Feldstein and Jeffrey Liebman (National Bureau of Economic Research, from a conference held Oct. 21-23, 1999, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). The chapter "Introduction to the Distributional Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform," by Martin Feldstein and Jeffrey Liebman (.pdf format, 9p.), has been made electronically available.

http://www.nber.org/books/woodstock99/index.html

Scroll to "Introduction".

C. _Social Security Pension Reform in Europe_, edited by Martin Feldstein and Horst Siebert (National Bureau of Economic Research, from a conference held Mar. 20-21, 2000, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). The chapters: "Introduction: An American Perspective," by Martin Feldstein (.pdf format, 13p.); and "Introduction: A European Perspective," by Horst Siebert (.pdf format, 13p.). have been made electronically available.

http://www.nber.org/books/pensioncrisis/index.html

Scroll to "Introduction: An American Perspective," and "Introduction: A European Perspective".

D. _Themes in the Economics of Aging_, edited by David A. Wise (National Bureau of Economic Research, from a conference held May 6-8, 1999, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). The chapter "Introduction to Themes in the Economics of Aging," by David A. Wise (.pdf format, 29p.) has been made electronically available.

http://www.nber.org/books/wise599/index.html

Scroll to "Introduction".

E. _Aging Issues in the United States and Japan_, edited by Seiritsu Ogura, Toshiaki Tachibanaki, and David A. Wise (National Bureau of Economic Research, from a conference held May 8-9, 1997, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). The chapter "Introduction to Aging Issues in the United States and Japan," by David A. Wise (.pdf format, 41p.). has been made electronically available.

http://www.nber.org/books/aging/index.html

Scroll to "Introduction".
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20. IOM: Note: Purchasing information is available for the first book at the site. The second book is forthcoming in print.

A. _Medicare Laboratory Payment Policy: Now and in the Future_, edited by Dianne Miller Wolman, Andrea L. Kalfoglou, and Lauren LeRoy, Committee on Medicare Payment Methodology for Clinical Laboratory Services, Division of Health Care Services, Institute of Medicine (National Academy Press, 2000, Open Book and .pdf format, 241p.).

Description:

Clinical laboratory tests play an integral role in helping physicians diagnose and treat patients. New developments in laboratory technology offer the prospect of improvements in diagnosis and care, but will place an increased burden on the payment system. Medicare, the federal program providing coverage of health-care services for the elderly and disabled, is the largest payer of clinical laboratory services. Originally designed in the early 1980s, Medicare's payment policy methodology for outpatient laboratory services has not evolved to take into account technology, market, and regulatory changes, and is now outdated. This report examines the current Medicare payment methodology for outpatient clinical laboratory services in the context of environmental and technological trends, evaluates payment policy alternatives, and makes recommendations to improve the system.

http://books.nap.edu/catalog/9997.html

Click on "OPEN BOOK READ" or "PDF READ" for full text.

B. _Improving the Quality of Long-Term Care_, edited by Gooloo S. Wunderlich and Peter Kohler, Committee on Improving Quality in Long-Term Care, Division of Health Care Services, Institute of Medicine (National Academy Press, 2000, Open Book format, 258p.).

Description:

Among the issues confronting America is long-term care for frail, older persons and others with chronic conditions and functional limitations that limit their ability to care for themselves. _Improving the Quality of Long-Term Care_ takes a comprehensive look at the quality of care and quality of life in long-term care, including nursing homes, home health agencies, residential care facilities, family members and a variety of others. This book describes the current state of long-term care, identifying problem areas and offering recommendations for federal and state policymakers. Who uses long-term care? How have the characteristics of this population changed over time? What paths do people follow in long term care? The committee provides the latest information on these and other key questions. This book explores strengths and limitations of available data and research literature especially for settings other than nursing homes, on methods to measure, oversee, and improve the quality of long-term care. The committee makes recommendations on setting and enforcing standards of care, strengthening the caregiving workforce, reimbursement issues, and expanding the knowledge base to guide organizational and individual caregivers in improving the quality of care.

http://books.nap.edu/catalog/9611.html

Click on "OPEN BOOK READ" for full text.

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VI. Funding Opportunities:

21. NIH: "Bioengineering Research Partnerships" (US National Institutes of Health, PA-01-024). "Participating Institutes and Centers (ICs) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invite applications for R01 awards to support Bioengineering Research Partnerships (BRPs) for basic multidisciplinary research addressing important biological or medical research problems. A BRP is a multidisciplinary research team applying an integrative, systems approach to develop knowledge and/or methods to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat disease or to understand health and behavior. The partnership must include appropriate bioengineering expertise in combination with basic and/or clinical investigators. A BRP may propose discovery-driven, developmental, non-hypothesis-driven, design-directed, or hypothesis-driven research at universities, national laboratories, medical schools, large or small businesses, or other public and private entities." For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-01-024.html

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VII. Legislation Information Updates:

22. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING PUBLICATIONS: The US Senate Special Committee on Aging has made available (print only) the following hearings publications. Note: publications may be ordered, free of charge, at the website:

Now Hiring: The Rising Demand for Older Workers (#106-26)

Funerals and Burials: Protecting Consumers from Bad Practices (#106-27)

Inviting Fraud: Has The Social Security Administration Allowed Some Payees to Deceive the Elderly and Disabled (#106-28)

Kidney Dialysis Patients: A Population at Undue Risk? (#106-30)

Death Planning Made Difficult: The Danger of Living Trust Scams (#106-31)

The End of Life: Improving Care, Easing Pain and Helping Families (#106-32)

http://www.senate.gov/~aging/pubs.htm
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23. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "Medicare Fraud, Waste, and Abuse, Special Hearing" ( Printed Hearing # 106-741, March 2000, ASCII text and .pdf format, 45p.)

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate03sh106.html

Scroll to or "find in page" "106-741".
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24. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATIONS:

A. "Efforts to Inform the Public About Social Security" (Printed Hearing # 106-60, April 2000, ASCII text and .pdf format, 94p.).

B. "Social Security Notices" (Printed Hearing # 106-65, September 2000, ASCII text and .pdf format, 69p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/house/house19ch106.html

Scroll to or "find in page" "106-60" or "106-65".

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VIII. Websites of Interest:

25. SSA FORMS WEBSITE: The US Social Security Administration has created a "Find A Social Security Form" website that allows users to search or browse 65 forms "commonly used by ... customers." Forms are available for download in .pdf format.

http://www.ssa.gov/online/forms.html

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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