Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #272--January 27, 2005


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. ICPSR: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, at the University of Michigan has recently released the following dataset, which may be of interest to researchers in aging. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member see:

Survey on Health, Well-Being, and Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2000 (#3546)

2. HRS: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study has announced a new version of the HRS Pension Estimation Program. For more information see:

Note: Users must register with HRS before gaining access to public use files.


II. Reports and articles:

3. BLS PERIODICAL ARTICLE: "Comparing the Retirement Savings of the Baby Boomers and Other Cohorts," by Sharon A. DeVaney and Sophia T. Chiremba (US Bureau of Labor Statistics "Compensation and Working Conditions Online," January 24, 2005).


A. "Prescription Drug Benefit/Medicare Advantage Programs," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, January 24, 2005). Note: This page is designed to provide the "opportunity to learn and review the basic information regarding the Prescription Drug Benefit, Employer Options and Medicare Advantage Plans."

B. "Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, January 21, 2005).

5. IRS REPORT: "Use of Individual Retirement Arrangements to Save for Retirement--Results From a Matched File of Tax Returns and Information Documents for Tax Year 2001," by Peter Sailer and Sarah Holden (US Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income Division, Presented at the 2004 American Statistical Association Meetings, .pdf format, 8p.).

6. DHHS OIG GUIDE: "Supplemental Compliance Program Guidance for Hospitals," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, January 2005, .pdf format, 79p.). Note: "The voluntary Supplemental Compliance Program Guidance for Hospitals outlines actions they can take to promote compliance with the rules and regulations of doing business with the Medicare, Medicaid and other Federal health care programs."

Press release:

7. DHHS NEWS RELEASE: "HHS Takes Major Step to Prescription Drug Benefit," (US Department of Health and Human Services, January 21, 2005).

8. NIA PRESS RELEASE: "Staying Warm in the Winter Can Be a Matter of Life and Death for Older People," (National Institute on Aging, January 18, 2005).


A. "Mutation of the androgen receptor causes oncogenic transformation of the prostate," by Guangzhou Han, Grant Buchanan, Michael Ittmann, Jonathan M. Harris, Xiaoqing Yu, Francesco J. DeMayo, Wayne Tilley, and Norman M. Greenberg (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 102, No. 4, January 25, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1151-1156).

B. "Gene delivery of human apolipoprotein E alters brain A{beta} burden in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease," by Jean-Cosme Dodart, Robert A. Marr, Milla Koistinaho, Beth M. Gregersen, Seema Malkani, Inder M. Verma, and Steven M. Paul (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 102, No. 4, January 25, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1211-1216).

10. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles: "Blood Lead Is a Predictor of Homocysteine Levels in a Population-Based Study of Older Adults," by Jyme H. Schafer, Thomas A. Glass, Joseph Bressler, Andrew C. Todd, and Brian S. Schwartz (_Environmental Health Perspectives_, Vol. 113, No. 1, 2005, p. 31-35 via Medscape).

11. URBAN INSTITUTE ARTICLE: "Should the Budget Exclude the Cost of Individual Accounts?" (_Tax Notes_, January 24, 2005, .pdf format, p. 477-487).

Click on "PDF" for full text.

12. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEF: "Yikes! How To Think About Risk?" by Alicia H. Munnell, Steven A. Sass, and Maurico Soto (IB 27, January 2005, .pdf format, 10p.).

Click on "click here" for full text.


A. "In Brief: Administrative Challenges in Managing the Medicare Program," by Craig Caplan (AARP Public Policy Institute, December 2004, .pdf and HTML format, 2p.).

B. "Valuable Documents at Your Fingertips" is provided by the AARP Caregivers program. "AARP [has] designed a form to help parents and adult children to work together to locate these documents before a crisis occurs."

C. "New AARP Poll Finds Appeal of Social Security Private Accounts Drops When Consequences Are Known" (AARP, January 24, 2005).

14. NCOA REPORT: "Use Your Home to Stay at Home: Expanding the Use of Reverse Mortgages to Pay for Long Term Care," by Barbara R. Stucki (National Council on Aging, January 2005, .pdf format, 89p.). The report is linked to from a NCOA press release: "NCOA Study Shows Reverse Mortgages Can Help Seniors Pay for Long Term Care at Home" (January 26, 2005).

Click on "study released today" for full text.

More information about NCA:

15. KFF SURVEY RESULTS: "New Survey Assesses Senior's Views of Medicare Drug Law," (Kaiser Family Foundation, January 27, 2005, .pdf format). Note: A web-cast (RealPlayer or Windows Media Player format) is also available.

16. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Rebel in the Ranks: Why is a key Bush ally attacking his Social Security plan, and what does it mean for the rest of the G.O.P.?" by Massimo Calabresi and Perry Bacon Jr. (_Time_, Vol. 165, No. 5, January 31, 2005).,9171,1019834,00.html

17. _BUSINESS WEEK_ ARTICLE: "Mexico: A Pension Patchwork With Big Holes," by Geri Smith (_Business Week_, January 31, 2005).


III. Working Papers:

18. MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER: "Household Propensities to Plan for Retirement: A Life Cycle Analysis," by Erik Hurst (WP 2004-088, October 2004, .pdf format, 49p.).


This project will examine the life-cycle consumption behavior of households which enter retirement with lower than "normal" wealth. Using the PSID, the project will test whether differences in planning behavior can explain the variation in retirement wealth across households. The key empirical strategy will be to examine the consumption decisions of pre-retired households with low wealth during their working years. In considering different reform proposals for Social Security, knowing the percentage of households that plan for retirement, and the characteristics of those that do not plan, will help to predict the distributional effects of the various policy options.

Click on title at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

19. NBER:

A. "Income and the Use of Prescription Drugs by the Elderly: Evidence from the Notch Cohorts," by John R. Moran and Kosali Ilayperuma Simon (w11068, January 2005, .pdf format, 40p.).


We use exogenous variation in Social Security payments created by the Social Security benefits notch to estimate how retirees' use of prescription medications responds to changes in their incomes. In contrast to estimates obtained using ordinary least squares, instrumental variables estimates based on the notch suggest that lower-income retirees exhibit considerable income sensitivity in their use of prescription drugs. Our estimates are potentially useful for thinking about the health care usage implications of any changes in transfer payments to the elderly that may occur in the future, and for evaluating the benefits of the recently enacted Medicare prescription drug benefit.

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

B. "Optimal Defualts and Active Decisions," by James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte Madrian and Andrew Metrick (w11074, January 2005, .pdf format, 49p.).


Defaults can have a dramatic influence on consumer decisions. We identify an overlooked but practical alternative to defaults: requiring individuals to make an explicit choice for themselves. We study such "active decisions" in the context of 401(k) saving. We find that compelling new hires to make active decisions about 401(k) enrollment raises the initial fraction that enroll by 28 percentage points relative to a standard opt-in enrollment procedure, producing a savings distribution three months after hire that would take three years to achieve under standard enrollment. We also present a model of 401(k) enrollment and derive conditions under which the optimal enrollment regime is automatic enrollment (i.e., default enrollment), standard enrollment (i.e., default non-enrollment), or active decisions (i.e., no default and compulsory choice). Active decisions are optimal when consumers have a strong propensity to procrastinate and savings preferences are highly hetergeneous. Naive beliefs about future time-inconsistency strengthen the normative appeal of the active decision enrollment regime.

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

20. INNOCENZO GASPARINI INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH [BOCCONI UNIVERSITY]: "The Evolution of Retirement," by J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz, Vincenzo Galasso and Paola Profeta (IGIER Working Paper 278, January 2005, .pdf format, 28p.).


We provide a long term perspective on the individual retirement behavior and on the future of early retirement. In a cross-country sample, we find that total pension spending depends positively on the degree of early retirement and on the share of elderly in the population, which increase the proportion of retirees, but has hardly any effect on the per-capita pension benefits. We show that in a Markovian political economic theoretical framework, in which incentives to retire early are embedded, a political equilibrium is characterized by an increasing sequence of social security contribution rates converging to a steady state and early retirement. Comparative statics suggest that aging and productivity slow-downs lead to higher taxes and more early retirement. However, when income effects are factored in, the model suggests that periods of stagnation - characterized by decreasing labor income - may lead middle aged individuals to postpone retirement.

21. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]: "Demographic Determinants of Savings: Estimating and Interpreting the Aggregate Association in Asia," by T. Paul Schultz (Discussion Paper 1479, January 2005, .pdf format, 37p.).


Life cycle savings is proposed as one explanation for much of the increase in savings and economic growth in Asia. The association between the age composition of a nation's population and its savings rate, observed within 16 Asian countries from 1952 to 1992, is re-estimated here to be less than a quarter the size reported in a seminal study, which assumed lagged savings is exogenous. Specification tests as well as common sense imply, moreover, that lagged savings is likely to be endogenous, and when estimated accordingly there remains no significant dependence of savings on the age composition, measured in several ways. Research should consider lifetime savings as a substitute for children, and model the causes for the decline in fertility which changes the age compositions and could thereby account for savings and growth in Asia.


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

22. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 161, No. 3, February 1, 2005).

23. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 95, No. 2, February 2005). 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.

24. Experimental Aging Research (Vol. 31, No. 1, January 2005). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

25. Research on Aging (Vol. 27, No. 2, March 2005). 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.

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

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "advanced search"
C. Type in your publication name and click "Exact title" radio button
D. Under "Show", click the "fax/ariel" radio button.
E. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Canadian Journal on Aging (Vol. 23, no. SUPP/1, 2004).

Clinical Gerontologist (Vol. 28, No. 1/2, 2005).

Educational Gerontology (Vol. 31, No. 1, January 2005).


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. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of January 26, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of January 26, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of January 26, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of January 26, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of January 26, 2005:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of January 26, 2005:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

28. NIH:

A. "Directed Stem Cell Differentiation for Cell-Based Therapies for Heart, Lung, And Blood, and Aging Diseases (R21)," (PA-05-043, US National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute on Aging, January 26, 2005). For more information see:

B. "Directed Stem Cell Differentiation for Cell Based Therapies for Heart, Lung, Blood, and Aging Diseases (SBIR/STTR)," (PA-05-044, US National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute on Aging, January 26, 2005). For more information see:


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

29. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Internet Pharmacy and Importation: Exploring Risks and Benefits," a hearing held January 26, 2005.

Hearing Testimony (.pdf and RealPlayer format):


VII. Websites of Interest:

30. KFF: Kaiser Family Foundation's, which provides "health policy students and faculty easy access to data, literature, news and developments regarding major health policy topics and debates" (and was first discussed in the Apr. 5, 2004 [#26] issue of the University of Wisconsin Center for Demography and Ecology's Current Demographic Research Reports [CDERR] has added a new module: "The New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview," by Tricia Neuman (January 2005) (HTML with sound, and Microsoft PowerPoint format).

31. CMS: "CMS is launching the Council on Technology and Innovation (CTI) to provide the Agency with improved methods for developing practical information about the clinical benefits of new medical technologies resulting in faster and more efficient coverage and payment of these medical technologies. The CTI was established by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003: Section 942(a)."




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400