Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #177--March 13, 2003


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:


I. Reports and articles:


A. "Private Long-Term Care Insurance: Who Should Buy It and What Should They Buy?" by Mark Merlis (Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2003, .pdf format, 38p.).


Despite the growing interest in private long-term care insurance (LTCI), there has been little independent examination of how much protection LTCI policies provide consumers or whether LTCI policies are a worthwhile purchase for people of average means. This report draws on data from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) and the 1996 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) to explore the feasibility of LTCI for working families and older adults. Specifically, the report looks at how many working-age families can afford LTCI, whether it is a sensible investment for people who are decades away from requiring long-term care, and how LTCI policies can be made more flexible, to keep pace with changes in long-term care delivery and financing. The report also examines the affordability of LTCI for older people, what kind of policies make sense for seniors, and whether there are less costly products that might reach more buyers and still provide some meaningful protection.

B. "Regulation of Private Long-Term Care Insurance: Implementation Experience and Key Issues," by Stephanie Lewis, John Wilkin, and Mark Merlis (Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2003, .pdf format, 45p.).


While private long-term care insurance (LTCI) has been available since the mid-1970s, its popularity has grown rapidly in recent years, and Congress is considering proposals that would further encourage LTCI purchase through expanded tax subsidies. Yet there has been little research on how well LTCI works and how much security it really provides. This report focuses on consumer protections for individuals buying LTCI in the current market. It begins with a brief description of how LTCI works and how it is regulated. It then examines how well existing federal and state regulatory mechanisms address issues, including suitability in choosing a policy, policy replacement, benefit triggers and other coverage issues, and post-claims underwriting.


A. "The Medicaid-Medicare Link: State Medicaid Programs Are Shouldering A Greater Share Of The Costs of Care For Seniors and People With Disabilities," by Leighton Ku (CBPP, February 2003, .pdf format, 14p.).

Click on "this report".

B. "Shift In Costs From Medicare To Medicaid Is A Principal Reason For Rising State Medicaid Expenditures," by Leighton Ku (CBPP, March 2003, .pdf and HTML format, 3p.).

Click on "this report".

More information on CBPP:

3. IRS REPORT: "Using Auxiliary Information to Adjust for Non-Response in Weighting a Linked Sample of Administrative Records," by Barry W. Johnson and Paul B. McMahon (US Internal Revenue Service, originally presented at the 2002 American Statistical Association Meeting, .pdf format, 6p.).

4. _SCIENCE_ ABSTRACT: "Cell Biology: A Matter of Life or Death," by Rama Ranganathan (_Science_, Vol. 299, No. 5613, Mar. 14, 2003, p. 1677-1679).

5. MEDSCAPE ARTICLES: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Ethical Issues in the Management of Geriatric Cardiac Patients," by James A. Avery (_The American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology_, Vol. 11, No. 6, 2002, p. 413-415, via Medscape).

B. "Geriatrics -- Myths and Perspectives, Special Guest Editorial," by Gary J. Kennedy (Medscape Psychiatry and Mental Health, Vol. 8, No. 3, Feburary 2003).

6. _ECONOMIST_ ARTICLE: "Median age of the population" (_Economist_, Mar. 13, 2003).

7. _TIME_ BONUS SECTION: _Time Magazine_ (Mar. 17, 2003) contains a bonus section, "Generations/Achievers", with the following articles:

A. Pioneering In Space: Decades after his discovery of Earth's radiation belts, James Van Allen is still hard at work," by Leon Jaroff.,9171,1101030317-430849,00.html

B. "Into the Spotlight: Theater gives seniors an outlet for self-expression, therapy, socializing and sheer fun," by Sally S. Stich.,9171,1101030317-430840,00.html

C. "Providing For Parents: The 'sandwich generation' looks for new solutions," by Laura Koss-Feder.,9171,1101030317-430851,00.html

D. "Fitness Guru: Presidential spokesman Lynn Swann sets the tone," by Arnold Mann and Lynn Swann.,9171,1101030317-430838,00.html

E. "How I Got It: The newsman recalls having to drop out of college in order to find a career," by Tom Brokaw.,9171,1101030317-430839,00.html


A. "Is Your Retirement at Risk?," by Betsy Morris (_Fortune_, Mar. 17, 2003).,15114,428136,00.html

B. "Bye-Bye Pension," by Janice Revell (_Fortune_, Mar. 17, 2003).,15114,428139,00.html


II. Working Papers:

9. NBER:

A. "The Life Cycles of Modern Artists: Theory, Measurement, and Implications," by David W. Galenson (National Bureau of Economic Research w9539, March 2003, .pdf format, 140p.).


There have been two very different life cycles for important modern artists: some, including Picasso, have made their greatest contributions early in their careers, whereas others, like Cezanne, have produced their best work late in their lives. Art's young geniuses have worked deductively to make conceptual innovations, while its old masters have worked inductively, to innovate experimentally. These two life cycles emerge from quantitative analysis of a wide range of evidence, and recognizing the differences between them allows a new understanding of a number of issues in art history. The two life cycles are furthermore not limited to painting, for the association between deduction and early achievement, and that between induction and late creativity, also clearly appear in quantitative studies of the careers of important economists and poets. Understanding the careers of modern artists therefore leads to a deeper understanding of the life cycles of human creativity in general.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the abstract.

B. "Labor Market Status of Older Males in the United States, 1880-1940," by Chulhee Lee (National Bureau of Economic Research w9550, March, 2003, .pdf format, 33p.)


This paper examines the labor market status of older males in the era of industrialization, focusing on the question of how the extent of pressure toward retirement varied across different occupations, and how it changed over time. A comparison of hazard of retirement across occupations shows that men who had better occupations in terms of economic status and work conditions were less likely to retire than were those with poorer jobs. This result tends to reject the recent view that retirement was more voluntary than forced as early as a century ago. The difficulty faced by older workers in the labor market, as measured by the relative incidence of long-term unemployment, was relatively severe among craftsmen, operatives, and salesmen. In contrast, aged farmers, professionals, managers, and proprietors appear to have fared well in the labor market. The pattern of shifts in the occupational structure that occurred between 1880 and 1940 suggests that industrialization had brought a growth of the sectors in which the pressure toward departure from employment at old ages was relatively strong.


A. "Ageing and the Tax Implied in Public Pension Schemes: Simulations for Selected OECD Countries," by Robert Fenge and Martin Werding (Working Paper 841, January 2003, .pdf format, 49p.).


A key figure which can be applied to measuring inter-generational imbalances involved in existing public pension schemes is given by the implicit tax that is levied on each generations life-time income through participation in these systems. The implicit tax arises from the fact that, quite generally, pension benefits received fall short of actuarial returns to contributions (i.e., explicit social security taxes) paid while actively working. If, in spite of large-scale demographic ageing, public pension schemes are continued to be run based on current rules, implicit tax rates will sharply increase for generations who are currently young when compared to those who are already approaching retirement. In the paper, this will be illustrated for the cases of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, the UK, and the US. The results are based on simulations covering representative individuals in all age cohorts born from 1940 to 2000. At the same time, there are striking differences across countries regarding both the level of implicit taxes and their time paths over successive age cohorts, which can be attributed to different ageing processes as well as to different institutional features of national pension systems. In addition, we are studying the impact of pension reforms that were recently enacted or are currently under way, thus demonstrating how effective the measures taken are in terms of smoothing the inter-generational profile of implicit tax rates.

Click on "Publications" in the left frame, then scroll to "CESifo Working Papers", click on "working papers", then click on "Working Papers 2003: 832-", then scroll down to "841".

B. "Ageing and Fiscal Imbalances Across Generations: Concepts of Measurement," by Robert Fenge and Martin Werding (Working Paper 842, January 2003, .pdf format, 27p.).


In the literature, several approaches have been taken to measure the impact of demographic ageing on public pension schemes, with particular attention being paid to potential fiscal imbalances across the generations involved in demographic transition. In this paper, we review three of these measures - viz., "net pension liabilities" and "general government fiscal balances" as suggested by the OECD, as well as "generational accounting" in the Auerbach-Kotlikoff tradition. We show how these approaches are related to each other by the general idea that unfunded pensions create an implicit public debt, and we discuss the problems involved in applying and interpreting them in a real-world context. In addition, we suggest the "implicit tax" entailed in public pensions as a further concept for measuring the inter-generational distribution of burdens arising in ageing populations. The notion of an implicit tax is straightforward from simple pension algebra; it is easy to interpret in a theoretical perspective; and it can be introduced to various kinds of applied work using micro-level data.

Click on "Publications" in the left frame, then scroll to "CESifo Working Papers", click on "working papers", then click on "Working Papers 2003--832-", then scroll down to "842".

11. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF AN AGING POPULATION (SEDAP), MCMASTER UNIVERSITY (HAMILTON, ONTARIO CANADA): "The Transition from Good to Poor Health: An Econometric Study of the Older Population," by Neil J. Buckley, Frank T. Denton, A. Leslie Robb, and Byron G. Spencer (Research Paper 94, February 2003, .pdf format, 45p.).


This is a study of the influence of socioeconomic factors on the state of health of older Canadians. Three years of panel data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics are used to model the transition probabilities between good and poor health. Care is taken to avoid the problem of endogeneity of income in modelling its effects, and to adjust reported income to free it from its strong association with age at the time of the survey. Of particular note are the significant effects found for income, in spite of universal public health care coverage. Significant effects are found also for age, education, and other variables.


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

12. Journals of Gerontology: Biological and Medical Sciences (A), Vols. 58A, Nos. 3, March 2003. Note : Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

13. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "browse by publication"
C. Type the Journal Name in the "by words in the title" search box and click "search".
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Canadian Journal on Aging (Vol. 21, No. 4, 2002).

Journal of the American Geriatrics Association (Vol. 51, No. 2, 2003).

Research on Aging (Vol. 25, No. 2, 2003). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite database. Check your organization's library for the availability of these databases and this issue
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14. 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 Mar. 11, 2003:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 11, 2003:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 11, 2003:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


IV. Funding Opportunities:

15. MIDUS PILOT GRANT PROGRAM: "Two pilot project grants will be awarded for innovative interdisciplinary research on adult health and well-being, with an emphasis on integrative approaches to understanding life course and subgroup variations in physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive functioning. All research must be based on the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) data set, or its satellite studies including the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE) and sibling/twin subsample studies. Grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded to investigators from a variety of disciplines." For more information see:


V. Conferences:

16. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF AN AGING POPULATION (SEDAP), MCMASTER UNIVERSITY (HAMILTON, ONTARIO CANADA): "Moving Towards an Older Society," a conference to be held at McMaster University, Montreal Canada, Apr. 10-11, 2003. For more information see the brochure (.pdf format, 4p.) at:


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

17. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "Medicare Payments for Currently Covered Prescription Drugs," a hearing held Oct. 3, 2002 (US House Serial Publication No. 107-84, ASCII text and .pdf format, 89p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "107-84" (without the quotes).

18. US SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HEARING TESTIMONY: "The Funding Challenge: Keeping Defined Benefit Pension Plans," a hearing held Mar. 11, 2003.

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):


A. "In Critical Condition: America's Ailing Health Care System," a hearing held Mar. 10, 2003 (HTML or .pdf format).

B. "Fitness and Nutrition: The Prescription for Healthy Aging," a hearing held Mar. 11, 2003 (HTML or .pdf format).

Note: Video transcripts of these hearings are also available (RealPlayer format). See:

20. US SENATE COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "Comparative Pricing of Prescription Drugs Sold in the United States and Canada and the Effects on U.S. Customers," a hearing held Sep. 5, 2001 (US Senate Hearing Publication 107-644, ASCII text and .pdf format, 90p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "107-644" (without the quotes).

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