Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #18--January 27, 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:


I. Reports and articles

1. CBO REPORT AND TESTIMONY: (.pdf, PostScript, and WordPerfect formats).

A. The Congressional Budget Office has released "The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2001-2010." (January 2000, 190p.).

B. Statement of Dan L. Crippen, Director, Congressional Budget Office: The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2001-2010 (Jan. 26, 2000, 29p.).

2. AOA/WHITEHOUSE PRESS RELEASE: The Administration on Aging has posted the President's Press Release of Jan. 19, 2000 regarding "The President Triples his Long-Term Care Tax Credit and Urges Congress to Pass a Long-Term Care Initiative In 2000."

3. _JAMA_ ARTICLES (HTML and .pdf formats).

A. "Menopausal Estrogen and Estrogen-Progestin Replacement Therapy and Breast Cancer Risk," by Catherine Schairer, Jay Lubin, Rebecca Troisi, Susan Sturgeon, Louise Brinton, and Robert Hoover (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 4, Jan. 26, 2000, p.485-491).

>From the Abstract:

Objective: To determine whether increases in risk associated with the estrogen-progestin regimen are greater than those associated with estrogen alone. Conclusion: Our data suggest that the estrogen-progestin regimen increases breast cancer risk beyond that associated with estrogen alone.

B. "Postmenopausal Estrogens-Opposed, Unopposed, or None of the Above," by Walter C. Willett, Graham Colditz, and Meir Stampfer (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 4, Jan. 26, 2000, p. 534-535). Note: This is a _JAMA_ editorial.

C. "Quality of the Last Year of Life of Older Adults: 1986 vs 1993," by Youlian Liao, Daniel L. McGee, Guichan Cao, and Richard S. Cooper (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 4, Jan. 26, 2000, p. 512-518).

>From the Abstract:

Context: The population is aging and life expectancy is increasing, but whether morbidity and disability late in life also increase is unknown. Objective: To examine whether the use of health care services, disability and cognitive function, and overall quality of life in the year before death among older adults has changed over time. Conclusions: Men and women at least 85 years old in the US experienced a better overall quality of life in the last year of life in 1993 than those in 1986. Most measures for men and women aged 65 through 84 years improved or did not change.

D. Books/Physician-Assisted Suicide: _A Time to Die: The Place for Physician Assistance_" by Charles F. McKhann, reviewed by John T. Sinnott, and Sally H. Houston. (See "books" section below for more information).

4. HUD/CENSUS REPORT: The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau have released "1997 American Housing Survey for the U.S.," (Current Housing Report H150/97, September 1999, .pdf format, 536p.).

>From the Press Release:

"American Housing Survey for the United States, 1997" presents a wide range of data from the 1997 American Housing Survey (AHS), sponsored by HUD and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The book presents more than 400 pages of tables, including data on apartments; single-family homes; mobile homes; vacant housing units; age, gender, and race of householders; income; housing and neighborhood quality; housing costs; equipment and fuels; and size of the housing unit. The book also presents data on mortgages, rent control, rent subsidies, previous unit of recent movers, and reasons for moving. The American Housing Survey is conducted by field representatives who obtain information from the residents living in each housing unit. The AHS is a national sample of about 53,000 interviews conducted every other year. AHS data are presented nationally as well as for major selected metropolitan areas. The report contains 25 tables (section 7) on "elderly householders."

5. HHS OIG OAS REPORT: The Office of Audit Services of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services has recently released "Review of Medicare Overpayments to Managed Care Organizations Due to Overstated Capitation Rates," (A-05-99-00025, December 1999, .pdf format, 16p.).

>From the Abstract:

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) established the Medicare+Choice program which directs the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to use 1997 standardized county rates as the basis for all future capitation payments to managed care organizations (MCOs). This final report points out that the 1997 standardized county rates were based on actuarial estimates and, when compared with actual costs incurred, were overstated by 4.2 percent. Applying this overstatement to Congressional Budget Office projections of future Medicare payments to MCOs, we estimate that the inflated payment rates will result in Medicare overpayments to MCOs totaling $11.3 billion over the next five years and $34.3 billion over the next ten years. We recommended that HCFA seek legislation to correct the overstated base year rates, or at a minimum, use this information to suppress or eliminate any future increases in managed care capitation rates until this wide discrepancy is corrected. The HCFA did not concur, stating that the President's Medicare reform package includes a proposal to change the methodology used to set payment rates for MCOs. Since the new methodology will not use the overstated base year rates enacted under the BBA, HCFA officials believe legislation to correct the base year rates is unnecessary. However, because the Medicare reform legislation discussed by HCFA has not passed the Congress, we continue to recommend that HCFA seek legislation to correct the overstated payment rates.

6. _Newsweek_ Articles: _Newsweek_ magazine (Jan. 31, 2000) contains five articles related to Alzheimer's Disease. They are:

A. "Alzheimer's: Unlocking the Mystery," by Geoffrey Cowley (with QuickTime 4.0 Plus related audio).

B. "How Alzheimer's Lays Siege to the Brain"

C. "Coping With the Darkness," by Claudia Kalb

D. "Watching for Warning Signs"

E. "My Father's Battle With Alzheimer's," by Maureen Reagan

7. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: The Urban Institute has released "Health Insurance Costs and Early Retirement Decisions," by Richard W. Johnson, Amy J. Davidoff, and Kevin Perese (August 1999, .pdf format, 45p.).

>From the Introduction:

This paper estimates the effects of health insurance costs on early retirement for a sample of full-time workers ages 55 to 61. Although previous studies have examined the relationship between post-retirement health insurance options available to the worker and retirement decisions, they have not considered the role of the cost of health insurance in the early retirement decision. Given the wide variation in cost sharing across different health insurance plans, it is important to model explicitly the impact of costs, especially in light of evidence that RHI coverage has become more expensive in recent years. By quantifying the effects of health insurance costs on labor supply decisions, we were able to estimate not only the impact of RHI coverage on early retirement rates, but also to simulate the effects of different health reform initiatives that have recently been proposed. In particular, we examined the potential impact on retirement of Medicare buy-in options, tax deductions and tax credits for insurance premium expenses, and extensions of the federally-mandated period during which employers must provide continuation coverage to their former workers.

8. ACPM REPORT: The Association of Canadian Pension Management has released "Dependence or Self-reliance: Which way for Canada's Retirement Income System?" (January 2000, HTML format). "The Association of Canadian Pension Management ('ACPM') is the national voice of corporate and public sector pension plan sponsors in Canada, as well as of the professional firms they retain. ACPM's 1,000 members represent over 500 pension plans with aggregate pension assets of $400 billion, representing 80% of total Canadian pension fund assets."

>From "Goals of this Paper":

The goals of this paper are to provide an updated assessment of (a) the key attributes of an ideal national retirement income system, (b) the deficiencies of Canada's current system, and (c) to suggest steps or options to overcome these deficiencies, and to move us closer to a system which will sustain us in the 21st century.

9. HRS BIBLIOGRAPHY UPDATE: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study has recently added the following items to its bibliography (see the below listed item numbers for recent 1999 and forthcoming publications).

Item numbers: 49, 73, 94, 104, 111, 138, 162, 165, 167, 169, 175, 186,
199, 202, 205, 206, 217, 222, 230, 233, 238.

Use Ctrl-F (Windows) or Apple-F (Mac) to find the numbers on the page.

10. PBS TRANSCRIPT: Highlight of the PBS Scientific American Frontiers "Never Say Die" program website is a full transcript of the show which aired on Jan. 25, 2000.

and click on "transcript" at the left side of the screen.


II. Working Papers

11. STANFORD UNIVERSITY ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT: "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: A Theory of Intergenerational Exchange," by Antonio Rangel (Working Paper 00-001, December 1999, .pdf format, 35p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper develops a theory of intergenerational exchange for generations that are either selfish or have non-dynastic altruism. The main building blocks of the theory are forward and backward intergenerational goods (FIGs and BIGs) and the relationship between them. A FIG is a transfer from present to future generations, like parental investments in education and the preservation of the environment. A BIG is a transfer from future to present generations, like pay-as-you-go social security or taking care of elderly parents. We show that there is a fundamental difference between BIGs and FIGs. BIGs generating a positive surplus are self-sustainable, but FIGs never are. However, even with selfish generations, optimal investment in future generations can take place if the equilibrium social norm links BIGs and FIGs. The tools developed here can be used to understand a wide class of intergenerational problems, from the political economy of environmental treaties to the economics of seniority institutions. Two applications are developed in the paper: (1) the political economy of intergenerational public expenditures, and (2) investment in children within the family.

click on "PDF" at the top of the page for full text.

12. UPPSALA UNIVERSITY (SWEDEN) DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS WORKING PAPERS: "Age Distributions and the Current Account - A Changing Relation?" by Thomas Lindh and Bo Malmberg (Working Paper 1999:21, October 1999, .pdf
format, 35p.).

>From the Abstract:

In recent research age distribution effects on the current account have been found in cross-country panel regressions. The reason is different effects on saving and investment from cohort-size variation. In a panel of annual OECD data 1960-1995, we find that the age effects on saving are similar to results on world samples but the effects on investment are very different. The respective age profiles of saving and investment are much more similar in the OECD sample. This may be one factor accounting for the home-country bias found in international capital markets. Disaggregating investment we find that young cohorts have a positive correlation with housing investment while older but still active cohorts have a positive correlation with business investment. The differences in saving and investment effects are, nevertheless, sufficient to generate persistent and sizeable age effects on the current account. Our results suggest that policies concerning current account balance should take into consideration age distributions and the degree of development.

13. STOCKHOLM (SWEDEN) UNIVERSITY ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT: "Post Mortem Reputation, Compensatory Gifts and Equal Bequests," by Michael Lundholm and Henry Ohlsson (Working Paper 1999:1, June 1999, .pdf format, 8p.).

>From the Abstract:

The empirical evidence suggests that parents use inter vivos gifts (i.e., transfers of tangible and financial property) to compensate less well off children whereas post mortem bequests are divided equally among siblings. We study a theoretical model assuming, First, that the amounts given is private information, only known to the donor and the donee, while the amounts bequeathed is public information. Second, we assume that parents care about the reputation that their bequest behavior will leave them after their death. More specifically, this reputation is deteriorating in the difference in amounts inherited. We show that, given these assumptions, the optimal choice of altruistic parents is compensatory gifts and equal bequests.

14. TRADE UNION INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH (SWEDEN): Demographic and Per Capita Income Dynamics: A Convergence Study on Demographics, Human Capital, and Per Capita Income for the US States," by Joakim Persson (Working Paper No. 156, November 1999, .pdf format, 41p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper finds that age distribution, educational attainment, and government size converge across the US states at rates rather similar to the convergence rate for per capita income. The main part of the paper takes age distribution variables as exogenous in conditional convergence regressions. Using panel data, the estimated partial relation between age and the subsequent growth rate of per capita income is hump-shaped and of quantitative importance. This result is robust to conditioning on other variables and appears not only to reflect capital-dilution. Another result is that average years of schooling has a positive effect on growth only if age distribution is controlled for. These findings are consistent with an explanation that the age distribution reflects the growth effects of human capital accumulated through experience.

and click on "wp156.pdf" at the bottom of the page for full text.

15. UCLA ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT: "Social Security With Private Securities," by Harold Sommers (Working Paper No. 792, November 1999, .pdf format, 15p.).

>From the Abstract:

Some of the many proposals to "fix" Social Security are subjected in this paper to a double-screening test: Do they offer (1) a guaranteed safety-net _plus_ (2) a chance to make stock market profits? Using these criteria, the following plans are found to pass the test: The Archer (GOP) Plan; President Clinton's "USA Accounts"; The Feldstein et al (1999) Plan (with guaranteed option). In the three plans that pass the double test--a guaranteed safety-net _plus_ a claim on private securities--the baby boomers and their children will be able to enjoy both piece of mind and dreams of riches.


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

16. Full text of _Health and Social Work_ (Vol. 24, No. 4, November 1999) is available in the Proquest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database.

17. Full text of _Journal of Aging and Health_ (Vol. 11, No. 4, November 1999) is available in the Proquest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database.

18. _Journal of Mental Health and Aging_ (Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 2000). Note: This is a special issue on "Recruitment and Retention in Minority Populations: Lessons Learned in Conducting Research on Health Promotion and Minority Aging."

19. 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:

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 Journal of Epidemiology_ (Vol. 151, No. 2, Jan. 15, 2000).

_American Sociological Review_ (Vol. 64, No. 6, December 1999). Note: This journal is available in full text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and of this issue.

_Medical Care Research and Review_ (Vol. 56, No. 4, December 1999). Note: This journal is available in full text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and of this issue.


IV. Books

20. _Wealth, Work, and Health: Innovations in Measurement in the Social Sciences_, edited by James P. Smith and Robert J. Willis (University of Michigan Press, 1999, 368p., 108 tables, 24 drawings, ISBN 0-472-11026-8). For more information including price and ordering information see:

21. _Forecasting Retirement Needs and Retirement Wealth_, edited by Olivia S. Mitchell, P. Brett Hammond, and Anna M. Rappaport (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999, 392p., ISBN 0-8122-3529-0). For more information including price and ordering information see:

22. _A Time to Die: The Place For Physician Assistance_, by Charles F. McKhann (Yale University Press, 1999, 288p., ISBN 0-300-07631-2). For more information including price and ordering information see:


V. Conferences:

23. 1994/5 NHIS-D FINDINGS AND APPLICATIONS CALL FOR PAPERS: The Division of Health Interview Statistics of the National Center for Health Statistics and The University of Minnesota Research and Training Center on Community Living announce a national conference on the 1994/1995 National Health Interview Survey on Disability: Findings and Applications, to be held June 12-13, 2000, in Minneapolis, MN. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Center for Health Statistics and the University of Minnesota, Research and Training Center on Community Living, announce a conference to discuss findings and applications of the National Health Interview Survey on Disability (NHIS-D). This conference will be held June 12 and 13, 2000, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the Holiday Inn-Metrodome. A call for papers for this conference has been announced, and the deadline for proposals is February 25, 2000. More information on the call for papers can be found at:


VI. Websites of Interest

24. NATIONAL ARCHIVE OF COMPUTERIZED DATA ON AGING (ICPSR): One of five specialized topical archives at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, NACDA "exists to advance research on aging by helping researchers profit from the under-exploited potential of a broad range of datasets. NACDA acquires and preserves data relevant to gerontological research, processing as needed to promote effective research use, disseminates them to researchers, and facilitates their use. By preserving and making available the U.S.'s largest library of electronic data on aging, NACDA offers opportunities for secondary analysis on major issues of scientific and policy relevance." NACDA contains data sets in six topical areas: demographic, social, and economic characteristics of older adults; social characteristics of older adults; psychological characteristics, mental health, and well-being of older adults; physical health and functioning of older adults; and health care needs, utilization, and financing for older adults. It has recently made available its 1999 catalog of holdings (.pdf format, 425p.).


Index of Titles:

NACDA 1999 Catalog:

Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706