Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #64--December 21, 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!!! There will be no CAAR Report next week, December 28, 2000. The CAAR report will return January 4, 2001. Enjoy the holidays and the break!

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I. Data:

1. AHEAD: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study/Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old website has announced "Supplement to AHEAD 1995 Preliminary Exit Data Released," on December 15, 2000. For more information see:

http://www.umich.edu/~hrswww/news/news110.html

HRS/AHEAD:

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

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II. Reports and articles:

2. SSA REPORT: "SSA's Estimates of Administrative Costs Under a Centralized Program of Individual Accounts," by Lawrence E. Hart, Mark Kearney, Carol Musil, and Kelly Olson (US Social Security Administration, December 2000, .pdf format, 34p.).

Abstract:

Over the past several years, a number of policymakers have proposed creating national individual accounts (IAs) for retirement whose assets would be individually owned and directed among investment options. Some proposals would create an IA program outside Social Security; others would integrate IAs into the Social Security program itself. All IA proposals, however, would entail administrative functions, costs, and considerations. Identifying and recognizing those administrative elements are important steps in assessing the desirability, feasibility, and optimal design of IAs. This paper: summarizes the administrative operation of Social Security today; provides SSA's estimated administrative costs for two hypothetical IA programs (that is, only the costs that SSA could experience, not those that employers, other agencies, and other parties could incur), and; highlights major considerations raised by IA administrative costs and choices.

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/pubs/IApaper.pdf
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3. AIHW COMPENDIUM: "Disability and Ageing: Australian Population Patterns and Implications" (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, AIHW Cat. No. Disability Series DIS 19, December 2000, .pdf format, 241p.). "This study of disability and ageing in Australia was commissioned by the National Disability Administrators. The study is designed to provide information to assist disability support service providers and senior policy makers faced with questions about the likely impacts of population ageing on disability prevalence, support services and availability of informal assistance. The report underlines the importance of considering individual needs and circumstances, confirms the need for flexible service types and provisions and support for carers, and suggests ways in which links between disability and aged care services might be strengthened." Note: The report can be downloaded in its entirety or chapter by chapter.

http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/dis/da/index.html
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4. _NATURE_ FEATURE OF THE WEEK, ARTICLE ABSTRACTS, NEWS AND VIEWS: Note: Electronic full text of these articles may be available. Check your organization's library for availability.

A. "A vaccine for Alzheimer's disease?" This feature also links to abstracts for the below listed articles (first paragraph) and a _Nature_ News and Views.

B. "Model Behavior," by Paul F. Chapman (_Nature_ News and Views, Vol. 408, No. 6815, Dec. 21/28, 2000, p. 915-916).

C. "A learning deficit related to age and beta-amyloid plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease," by Guiquan Chen, Karen S. Chen, Jane Knox, Jennifer Inglis, Andrew Bernard, Stephen J. Martin, Alan Justice, Lisa Mcconlogue, Dora Games, Stephen B. Freedman, and Richard G.M. Morris (_Nature_, Vol. 408, No. 6815, Dec. 21/28, 2000, p. 975-979).

D. "Abeta peptide immunization reduces behavioural impairment and plaques in a model of Alzheimer's disease," by Christopher Janus, Jacqueline Pearson, Joanne McClaurin, Paul M. Mathews, Ying Jiang, Stephen D. Schmidt, M. Azhar Chishti, Patrick Horne, Donna Heslin, Janet French, Howard T.J. Mount, Ralph A. Nixon, Marc Mercken, Catherine Bergeron, Paul E. Fraser, Peter St George-Hyslop, and David Westaway (_Nature_, Vol. 408, No. 6815, Dec. 21/28, 2000, p. 979-982).

E. "Abeta peptide vaccination prevents memory loss in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease," by Dave Morgan, David M. Diamond, Paul E. Gottschall, Kenneth E. Ugen, Chad Dickey, John Hardy, Karen Duff, Paul Jantzen, Giovanni DiCarlo, Donna Wilcock, Karen Connor, Jaime Hatcher, Caroline Hope, Marcia Gordon, and Gary W. Arendash (_Nature_, Vol. 408, No. 6815, Dec. 21/28, 2000, p. 982-985).

http://www.nature.com/nature/fow/001221.html
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5. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Extended Life-Span Conferred by Cotransporter Gene Mutations in Drosophila," by Blanka Rogina, Robert A. Reenan, Steven P. Nilsen, and Stephen L. Helfand (_Science, Vol. 290, No. 5499, Dec. 15, 2000, p. 2137-2140). Note: Full electronic text of this article (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library for availability.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/290/5499/2137
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6. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Tau kinases in the rat heat shock model: Possible implications for Alzheimer disease," by Alikunju Shanavas and Sozos Ch. Papasozomenos (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 97, No. 26, Dec. 19, 2000, p. 14139-14144). Note: Full electronic text of this article (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library for availability.

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/26/14139
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7. _JAMA_ ARTICLE, ARTICLE ABSTRACTS: Note: For article abstracts, full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library for availability.

A. "Medicare + Choice Plans," by Mike Hash (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 23, Dec. 20, 2000, p. 2988).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n23/ffull/jhf01000-1.html

B. "Gender Disparities in the Receipt of Home Care for Elderly People With Disability in the United States," by Steven J. Katz, Mohammed Kabeto, and Kenneth M. Langa (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 23, Dec. 20, 2000, p. 3022-3027).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n23/abs/joc01169.html

C. "Ensuring Competency in End-of-Life Care Communication and Relational Skills," by Charles F. von Gunten, Frank D. Ferris, and Linda L. Emanuel (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 23, Dec. 20, 2000, p. 3051-3057).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n23/abs/jrp00028.html
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8. THE _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS: Note: The _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content. Articles may be available in electronic full text. Check your organization's library for availability.

A. "Efficacy of rivastigmine in dementia with Lewy bodies: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled international study," by Ian McKeith, Teodoro Del Ser, PierFranco Spano, Murat Emre, Keith Wesnes, Ravi Anand, Ana Cicin-Sain, Roberto Ferrara, and Rene Spiegel (The _Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9247, Dec. 16, 2000, p. 2031-2036).

B. "Venlafaxine in management of hot flashes in survivors of breast cancer: a randomised controlled trial," by Charles L. Loprinzi, John W. Kugler, Jeff A. Sloan, James A. Mailliard, Beth I. LaVasseur, Debra L. Barton, Paul J. Novotny, Shaker R. Dakhil, Kate Rodger, Teresa A. Rummans, and Bradley J. Christensen (The _Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9247, Dec. 16, 2000, p. 2059-2063, HTML and .pdf format). Note: Full text of this article is available at the site, free of charge.

C. "Venlafaxine for hot flushes," by David H. Barlow (The _Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9247, Dec. 16, 2000, HTML and .pdf format p. 2025-2026). Note: Full text of this article is available at the site, free of charge.

D. "Psychiatric consultation and quality of decision making in euthanasia," by Marjolein Bannink, Arthur R. Van Gool, Agnes van der Heide, and Paul J. van der Maas (The _Lancet_ Research Letter, Vol. 356, No. 9247, Dec. 16, 2000).

E. "Japan makes older people contribute towards their health care," by Jonathan Watts (The _Lancet_ Dispatches, Vol. 356, No. 9247, Dec. 16, 2000, HTML and .pdf format). Note: Full text of this article is available at the site, free of charge.

http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol356/iss9247/

Scroll to articles. Articles with "FREE!" icon are available free of charge in HTML and .pdf format. For other articles, abstracts only are available.
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9. _NEJM_ BOOK REVIEW: _Acute Emergencies and Critical Care of the Geriatric Patient_, edited by Thomas T. Yoshikawa and Dean C. Norman (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 343, No. 25, Dec. 21, 2000, reviewed by Robert S. Crausman).

http://www.nejm.org/content/2000/0343/0025/1900.asp
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10. _CANCER CONTROL: JOURNAL OF THE MOFFITT CANCER CENTER_ VIA MEDSCAPE ARTICLES: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Hemopoietic Reserve in the Older Cancer Patient: Clinical and Economic Considerations," by Lodovico Balducci, Cheryl L. Hardy, and Gary H. Lyman (_Cancer Control: Journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center_, Vol. 7, No. 6, November/December 2000, HTML format).

http://www.medscape.com/31352.rhtml?srcmp=msmkt-121500

or

http://www.medscape.com/moffitt/CancerControl/2000/v07.n06/cc0706.03.bald/cc0706.03.bald-01.html

B. "Aging, Immunity, and Cancer," by Edith A. Burns and Elaine A. Leventhal (_Cancer Control: Journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center_, Vol. 7, No. 6, November/December 2000, HTML format).

http://www.medscape.com/31375.rhtml?srcmp=msmkt-121500

or

http://www.medscape.com/moffitt/CancerControl/2000/v07.n06/cc0706.01.burn/cc0706.01.burn-01.html
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11. _US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT ARTICLE_" "Innovators 2000: Leonard Guarente--Unlocking the secrets of long life," by Stacey Schultz (_US News and World Report_, Dec. 25, 2000).

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/001225/guarente.htm
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12. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: Note: This is an audio transcript and listeners will need the RealPlayer plug-in or helper application to hear it. Dec. 5, 2000. "Elder Abuse - An International Perspective." "The definition of abuse as applied to older people has been changing - and expanding. It now includes more than just physical abuse, and differs somewhat from one country to another. Dr. Gerald Bennett is an internationally recognized authority on the subject, and he joins host Mike Cuthbert for a fascinating discussion of the history and nature of elder abuse." Running time: 30 minutes 8 seconds.

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

Scroll to 12/5/00 "Elder Abuse - An International Perspective".

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III. Working Papers:

13. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN CENTER FOR DEMOGRAPHY AND ECOLOGY: "Age Stratification at Work: Continuity and Change in the American Occupational Structure, 1950-1990," by Alair MacLean (WP 2000-11, October 2000, .pdf format, 121p.).

Abstract:

This paper has substantive and methodological goals. The substantive goals are motivated by two questions: How are occupations graded by age in the United States? How has this changed over the last fifty years? Methodologically, I compare results from two different means of measuring age segregation: the index of dissimilarity and log-multiplicative models. I find that occupations are age segregated. The best-fitting model suggests that there are two different patterns of occupational age segregation. One pattern is linear, in which workers at a particular age are progressively more segregated from workers who are more distant in age. The other pattern is u-shaped, in which workers in their twenties and sixties are more likely to perform the same occupations, and less likely to share occupations with workers at mid-life. Among both men and women, occupational age segregation has declined during the last half of the twentieth century. The bulk of the change between 1950 and 1990 comes from changes in occupations. For example, some occupations were dominated by young workers and now are dominated by older ones. The distances separating different age groups from each other have also shifted. The choice of method affects the results. The index of dissimilarity conflates the changes in both dimensions governing the association between age and occupation. Log-multiplicative models allow a closer examination of the particular patterns of segregation, as well as the contributions of particular occupations and age groups to those patterns.

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cde/cdewp/2000-11.pdf
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14. LIS: "Life-Cycle Net Tax Rates and Intergenerational Redistribution: Evidence from Selected OECD Countries," by Paolo Liberati (Luxembourg Income Study Working Paper No. 245, November 2000, .pdf format, 68p.).

Abstract:

Using LIS data, this paper provides empirical evidence of how past tax/transfer policies in the UK, US and Sweden have shaped both the intrapersonal and the intergenerational redistributive profiles. Measuring intrapersonal effects is important in order to disentangle life cycle inequalities and redistribution due to a non-linear age-income profile; while the estimation of intergenerational shifts could provide a more correct way to infer whether temporary static deviations of annual tax burdens have corresponding entries in a life cycle perspective. To this purpose, a cohort analysis is used, by which different samples of people belonging to the same generations are followed over time. Results are shown that over the last thirty years conventional cross-section inequality overestimates the true interpersonal effect of taxes and transfers in all countries, and that the true inequality reducing power of taxes and transfers is generally declining. Further, evidence of generational deviations from a common life cycle profile has been found, of different intensity and direction in the three countries considered, signalling the presence of intergenerational redistribution and its link with the pattern of fundamental tax reforms enacted in the observed period.

http://lisweb.ceps.lu/publications/liswps/245.pdf
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15. NBER WORKING PAPERS IN AGING: Note: NBER now allows users to receive papers via email, as well as via download. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," by Amy Finkelstein and James Poterba (National Bureau of Economic Research W8045, December 2000, .pdf format, 43p.).

Abstract:

This paper presents new evidence on the importance of adverse selection in insurance markets. We use a unique data set, consisting of all annuity policies sold by a large U.K. insurance company since the early 1980s, to analyze mortality differences across groups of individuals who purchased different types of policies. We find systematic relationships between ex-post mortality and annuity policy characteristics, such as whether the annuity will make payments to the estate in the event of an untimely death and whether the payments from the annuity rise over time. These mortality patterns are consistent with models of asymmetric information in insurance markets. We find no evidence of mortality differences, however, across annuities of different size, as measured by the initial annual payment from the annuity. We also study differences in the pricing of different annuity products, and find that the pricing of various features of annuity contracts is consistent with the self-selection patterns we find in mortality rates. Our results therefore suggest that many specific features of insurance contracts can serve as screening mechanisms. This implies that insurance markets may be characterized by adverse selection, even when stratifying policyholders by the amount of payment in case of a claim does not support the existence of selection effects.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8045

Click on PDF at the bottom of the abstract, or enter your email address, to receive full text.
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16. NBER: Note: NBER now allows users to receive papers via email, as well as via download. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," by Esther Duflo (National Bureau of Economic Research W8061, December 2000, .pdf format, 38p.).

Abstract:

This paper studies whether the impact of a cash transfer on child nutritional status is affected by the gender of its recipient. In the early 1990's, the benefits and coverage of the South African social pension program were expanded for the black population. In 1993, the benefits were about twice the median income per capita in rural areas. Over a quarter of black South African children under age five live with a pension recipient. My estimates suggest that pensions received by women had a large impact on the anthropometric status of girls (it improved their weight given height by 1.19 standard deviations, and their height given age by 1.16 standard deviations), but little effect on that of boys. In contrast, I found no similar effect for pensions received by men. This suggests that the household does not function as a unitary entity, and that the efficiency of public transfer programs may depend on the gender of the recipient.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8061

Click on PDF at the bottom of the abstract, or enter your email address, to receive full text.
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17. FUNDACIN DE ESTUDIOS DE ECONOMA APLICADA (SPAIN):

A. "Optimal Social Security Taxation in Spain," by Roman Arjona (Working Paper EEE 80, September 2000, .pdf format, 38p.).

Abstract:

We use a dynamic general equilibrium model with overlapping generations of long-lived agents facing lifetime uncertainty, population growth and a Pay-As-You-Go social security system, in order to analyze the optimal tax structure of the Spanish social security system, as it currently stands and in light of the forecasted demographic changes. We characterize and solve the equilibrium of the model for different demographic scenarios and relevant parameter values, making use of the concept of optimality of social security taxes developed by Imrohoroglu, Imrohoroglu, and Jones (1995). Our main findings indicate that the optimal (average utility maximizing) taxes need not necessarily be equal to zero. Under plausible parameterizations we find positive tax rates, albeit lower than the current ones, supporting the hypothesis that PAYG systems may increase economic welfare. Dynamic inefficiency plays a key role in this outcome.

ftp://ftp.fedea.es/pub/eee/eee80.pdf

B. "Gradually Capitalizing the Spanish Retirement Pension System," by Roman Arjona (Working Paper EEE 81, September 2000, .pdf format, 43p.).

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to analyze the magnitude of the transition and long-run costs of changing the current Spanish Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) system into a partially funded system, using a gradual capitalization strategy, with the view to assessing its impact on the intergenerational distribution of welfare. The analysis is conducted in light of the expected demographic changes in Spain. For that purpose, we build a stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model with overlapping generations of long-lived agents facing mortality and idiosyncratic employment risk and expand the computational procedure of Imrohoroglu, Imrohoroglu, and Jones (1993, 1995) to examine transition dynamics between steady states with a changing population structure. Our main findings indicate that gradual capitalization strategies are appealing mechanisms which generate viable transitions to partially funded social security systems. Dynamic general equilibrium effects play an important role in this outcome, especially during the transition process. We find that all future generations are better off under the proposed gradual capitalization schemes, while older generations suffer a welfare loss. We complement the analysis by computing the optimal threshold for the gradual capitalization percentage.

ftp://ftp.fedea.es/pub/eee/eee81.pdf

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

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

American Economic Review (Vol. 90, No. 5, December 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in the ProQuest Research Library and EBSCO Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

Journal of Aging and Identity (Vol. 5, No. 4, December 2000).

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V. Books:

19. NBER: _Social Security Pension Reform in Europe_, edited by Martin Feldstein and Horst Siebert (from a conference held Mar. 20-21, 2000, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). The chapter "Prefunding in a Defined Benefit Pension System - The Finnish Case," by Jukka Lassila and Tarmo Valkonen (.pdf format, 19p.), has been made electronically available.

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

Scroll to "Prefunding in a Defined Benefit Pension System - The Finnish Case".

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VI. Funding Opportunities:

20. NIA NOTICE, FUNDING OPPORTUNITY:

A. Implementation of Policies For Human Intervention Studies (US National Institute on Aging Notice: AG-01-001, Dec. 20, 2000).

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AG-01-001.html

B. NIA Pilot Research Grant Program. "The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is seeking small grant (R03) applications in specific areas to: (1) stimulate and facilitate the entry of promising new investigators into aging research, and (2) encourage established investigators to enter new targeted, high priority areas in this research field. This Small Grant (R03) Program provides support for pilot research that is likely to lead to a subsequent individual research project grant (R01) that is focused on aging and/or a significant advancement of aging research." For more information, see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-01-037.html

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VII. Websites of Interest:

21. MEDSCAPE RESOURCE CENTER--MENOPAUSE: "Medscape's Menopause Resource Center is a collection of the latest medical news and information on menopause. This resource includes news, conference summaries, articles, MEDLINE abstracts, links to professional organizations, practice guidelines, and practical clinical tools." The site has been updated through Dec. 13, 2000. Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing content.

http://www.medscape.com/31295.rhtml?srcmp=msmkt-121500

or

http://www.medscape.com/Medscape/features/ResourceCenter/menopause/public/RC-index-menopause.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