Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #185--May 8, 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. Data:

1. CENSUS BUREAU: "The Census Bureau has begun releasing [Census 2000] data from Summary File 4 via FTP." Tables are available in comma delimited format, and technical documentation in .pdf format). Sex by single year of age data, topcoded at 100 years old, are available. For more information see:

2. IPUMS: The University of Minnesota Integrated Public Use Microdata Survey has announced its first release from the US Census 2000 IPUMS 1% sample. This first release "contains data for 15 states constituting roughly half of the national population.... More states will be added to the 2000 sample as the Census Bureau makes the data available." Users should check back with the site for future releases. Note: This is a beta release, and users must register with the site before using the data.

3. ICPSR: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan has recently released the following studies, which may be of interest to researchers in aging.

A. Americans' Changing Lives: Waves, I, II, and III, 1986, 1989, and 1994

B. General Social Surveys, 1972-2002: [Cumulative File]



II. Reports and articles:

4. US SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE: "Speaker Hastert Releases Principles for Modernizing Medicare with Prescription Drug Coverage" (May 1, 2003).

5. MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER NEWSLETTER: University of Michigan Retirement Research Center Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2, April 2003 (HTML and .pdf format, 8p.).

6. AMERICAN SAVINGS EDUCATION COUNCIL REPORT SUMMARY: "2003 Florida Retirement Confidence Survey" (May 2003, .pdf format, 7p., with accompanying press release and fact sheets, .pdf format).

More information about ASEC:

7. BROOKINGS INSTITUTE BRIEF: ""Whither Pensions? A Brief Analysis of Portman-Cardin III," by William G. Gale and Peter Orszag (Brookings Tax Notes, April 28, 2003).

8. AARP ARTICLE: "Age Discrimination Law: The Slow Drag to 2006," by Laurie McCann (AARP International Perspectives, May 2003).

AARP International Perspectives:

9. COMMONWEALTH BANK [AUSTRALIA] MEDIA RELEASE: "Rethink the Big R says Commonwealth Financial Planning as survey reveals the new modern-age retiree" (May 5, 2003).,1694,CH2071%255FTS7841,00.html

10. ADEAR NEWS RELEASE: "New Study in Rats Matches Genetic Influences and Cognitive Impairment, Offers More Complex Model of Brain Aging" (US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, May 7, 2003).

11. NCHS REPORT: "Physician's Handbook on Medical Certification of Death, 2003 Revision" (National Center for Health Statistics, PHS 2003-1108, May 2003, .pdf format, 57p.).

12. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "GABA and Its Agonists Improved Visual Cortical Function in Senescent Monkeys," by Audie G. Leventhal, Yongchang Wang, Mingliang Pu, Yifeng Zhou, and Yuanye Ma (_Science_, Vol. 300, No. 5620, May 2, 2003, p. 812-815).

13. _NATURE MEDICINE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Direct brain infusion of glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor in Parkinson disease," by Steven S. Gill, Nikunj K. Patel, Gary R. Hotton, Karen O'Sullivan, Rene McCarter, Martin Bunnage, David J. Brooks, Clive N. Svendsen and Peter Heywood (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2003, p. 589-595).

14. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Hospice Use Among Medicare Managed Care and Fee-for-Service Patients Dying With Cancer," by Ellen P. McCarthy, Risa B. Burns, Quyen Ngo-Metzger, Roger B. Davis, and Russell S. Phillips (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 298, No. 17, May 7, 2003, p. 2238-2245).

15. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Effects of Estrogen plus Progestin on Health-Related Quality of Life," by Jennifer Hays, Judith K. Ockene, Robert L. Brunner, Jane M. Kotchen, JoAnn E. Manson, Ruth E. Patterson, Aaron K. Aragaki, Sally A. Shumaker, Robert G. Brzyski, Andrea Z. LaCroix, Iris A. Granek, and Barbara G. Valanis (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 348, No. 19, May 8, 2003, p. 1839-1854).


A. "Lumbar punctures could be used to diagnose Alzheimers disease," by Deborah Josefson (_British Medical Journal_ News Roundup, Vol. 326, No. 7396, May 3, 2003, p. 950).

B. "Changing prescription patterns for lithium and valproic acid in old age: shifting practice without evidence," by Kenneth I. Shulman, Paula Rochon, Kathy Sykora, Geoffrey Anderson, Muhammad Mamdani, Susan Bronskill, and Chau T.T. Tran (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 326, No. 7396, May 3, 2003, HTML and .pdf format p. 960-961).

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

A. "The Efficient Use of Pharmaceuticals: Does Europe Have Any Lessons for a Medicare Drug Benefit?" by Adrian Towse (_Health Affairs_, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2003, p. 42-45, via Medscape).

B. "Contracting With Medicare Patients Once You've Opted Out," by Debra C. Cascardo (Medscape Money & Medicine, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2003).

C. Conference coverage of the 98th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association, held Apr. 26 - May 1, 2003, in Chicago, Illinois. Included are several articles about prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

18. _ECONOMIST_ ARTICLE: "How's your pension doing?: Companies should not get tax breaks to provide their workers' pensions" (_Economist_, May 8, 2003). Note: This is an _Economist_ opinion piece.


III. Working Papers:

19. RAND LABOR AND POPULATION PROGRAM WORKING PAPERS: "Annuities and Retirement Satisfaction," by Constantijn W.A. Panis (WP 03-17, April 2003, .pdf format, 32p.).


This paper analyzes pre-retirement expectations and post-retirement satisfaction, in particular their association with the degree to which retirees financial resources are in the form of annuities. Using the 1992-2000 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we find that most retirees are very satisfied with their overall situation, but the degree of satisfaction varies substantially with retirees characteristics. In particular, people in better health and with more financial resources tend to be more satisfied. Holding constant the present value of retirement resources and other factors, we find that retirees who can finance more of their consumption in retirement from pension annuities (vs. Social Security benefits and accumulated savings) are more satisfied. Retirees with lifelong annuities also tend to maintain their level of satisfaction during retirement, whereas those without tend to become less satisfied over time. We find the very same patterns with alternative depression-related measures of well-being in retirement. The findings have important implications for the well-being of future American retirees, who are increasingly reliant on DC pension plans rather than traditional DB pensions.

20. NBER: "Charitable Bequests and Taxes on Inheritance and Estates: Aggregate Evidence from Across States and Time," by Jon Bakija, William Gale, and Joel Slemrod (National Bureau of Economic Research w9661, May 2003, .pdf format, 11p.).


One recurring issue in the debate over the estate tax is its impact on the non-profit sector. With the top marginal rate of federal estate tax currently at 49 percent, abolishing the tax would approximately double the price of a charitable bequest relative to an ordinary bequest for the wealthiest estates. It would also, however, raise the after-tax wealth of decedents, so the ultimate impact of any particular policy change depends in part on the relative sizes of the price and wealth elasticities. This paper estimates the impact of taxes on charitable bequests using an econometric framework that exploits the fact that federal and state tax rates on estates and inheritances have changed over time in different ways across states and real wealth levels. The effect of federal and state inheritance and estate taxes on charitable bequests is estimated using pooled cross-sectional data spanning several decades information from federal estate tax returns. Under several different specifications, we find evidence that the incentives for charitable giving present in state and federal estate and inheritance taxes have a strong positive effect on charitable bequests. Our estimates that rely on differences in the time path of state and federal tax rates across groups provide a more credible source of identification than the previous literature of a large and significant price elasticity of charitable bequests.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.

21. TAX POLICY CENTER: "Private Pensions: Issues and Options," by William G. Gale, and Peter Orszag (TPC Discussion Paper No. 9, April 2003, .pdf format, 40p.)


This paper provides an overview of the U.S. system of pensions and tax-preferred saving, examines the effects of current policies, and evaluates proposals for reform. In light of lengthening life spans, earlier retirement, and projected financial shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare, the financial status of the elderly in the future will depend heavily on private saving for retirement. The central goal of the private pension system should be to encourage or provide adequate and secure retirement income in a cost-efficient and equitable manner. The present system falls short of these goals. Pensions currently cost the U.S. Treasury almost $200 billion per year. Pension benefits are skewed toward more affluent households who would be more likely to be saving adequately for retirement even without pensions, and who disproportionately use pensions to divert other saving (rather than to raise their overall level of saving). Pension benefits are meager among lower- and middle-income households who more often are not saving adequately for retirement, but for whom pensions do serve effectively to raise retirement wealth. Pension rules often allocate financial risks to workers, the group least well equipped to handle these issues. Pension rules are unduly complex. Reforms that raise contribution limits even further are unlikely to be helpful in promoting the goals noted above. Rather, pension reforms should focus on expanding benefits for lower- and middle-income households, improving incentives and opportunities to diversify investments, increasing financial education, improving the structure and rules regarding cash balance plans, and simplifying and strengthening non-discrimination rules.


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

22. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 108, No. 3, November 2002. Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

23. Journals of Gerontology (A) -- Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, Vols. 58, No. 5, May 2003. Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

24. Journals of Gerontology (B) -- Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vols. 58, No. 3, May 2003. Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

25. Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 65, No. 2, May 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 this issue.

26. 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.

American Economic Review, Vol. 93, No. 1, 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 library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

27. 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. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of May 7, 2003:

B. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of May 7, 2003:

C. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of May 7, 2003:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

28. POPULATION COUNCIL: _Life Span: Evolutionary, Ecological, and Demographic Perspectives_, edited by James R. Carey and Shripad Tuljapurkar (Population Council, 2003). For more information, including ordering information see:

29. WORLD BANK: _Pension Reform in Europe: Progress and Process_, edited by Robert Holzmann, Mitchell Orenstein and Michal Rutkowski (WorldBank, 2003, .pdf format, 202p.).

Full text:

Information on ordering a print copy:


VI. Funding Opportunities:

30. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: "Request for Applications (RFA)--Cooperative Agreement(s) for Establishing Retirement Research Consortiums" (US Social Security Administration SSA-ORES-03-1, April 2003). For more information see:

or from the US _Federal Register_ of Apr. 25, 2003:

ASCII format:

.pdf format:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:


A. "Medicare Reform and Competition: Separating Fact From Fiction," a hearing held May 6, 2003).

Hearing Testimony:

Video Hearing transcript (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, running time: 1 hour, 52 minutes, 6 seconds).

B. "Tax Fairness: Does Double Taxation Unfairly Target Older Americans," a hearing held Feb. 4, 2002 (US Senate Hearing Publication 108-6, ASCII text format). Note: At the time of mailing, the .pdf version of this publication was not available. Check the link to .pdf to see if it has become available.

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-6" (without the quotes).

32. US SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE: "Final Report Produced by the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security" (US Senate Hearing Publication 107-877, October 2002, .pdf format, 251p.).

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