Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #292--June 16, 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. PSID: The Panel Survey of Income Dynamics has made available "2003 Income and Hours Variables from the 2003 PSID Core Family Data".


II. Reports and articles:

2. DHHS OIG REPORT: "Consecutive Medicare Inpatient Stays," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, OEI-03-01-00430, June 2005, .pdf format, 21p.).


This inspection found that 20 percent of sequences of three or more consecutive Medicare inpatient stays were associated with quality of care problems and/or unnecessary fragmentation of health care services across multiple inpatient stays. Quality of care problems were defined as patient care that did not meet professionally recognized standards, medical errors, or accidents. Unnecessary fragmentation of services involved cases in which care provided across sequences of multiple inpatient stays may have been necessary and appropriate, but should have been consolidated to fewer stays. Medicare paid an estimated $267 million for these sequences of stays in Fiscal Year 2002. This inspection also found that 10 percent of individual stays within consecutive inpatient stay sequences were associated with poor quality of patient care. OIG recommended that CMS direct Quality Improvement Organizations and fiscal intermediaries, as appropriate, to monitor the quality, medical necessity, and appropriateness of inpatient services provided within the types of sequences of consecutive Medicare inpatient stays that we included in our review. CMS concurred with OIG's findings, but stated that periodic reviews of sequences of consecutive inpatient stays are not warranted.

3. CDC PERIODICAL: _Preventing Chronic Disease_ (US Centers for Disease Control, Vol. 2, No. 3, July 2005, HTML and .pdf format. Note: This is a special issue on "Healthy Aging."

4. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PLANNING AND EVALUATION REPORT: "The Effect of Reducing Falls on Long-Term Care Expenses: Final Design Report," (2005, .pdf and HTML format, 29p.).

5. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NEWS RELEASE: "HHS Announces New Medicaid Program to Deliver Care at Home," (June 13, 2005).

6. _MMWR_ ARTICLE: "QuickStats: Percentage of Hospital Discharges and Days of Care, by Age Group --- United States, 2003" (US Centers for Disease Control, _Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report_, Vol. 54, No. 23, Jun. 17, 2005, HTML and .pdf format, p. 584).


7. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "Mandatory Social Security Coverage of State and Local Workers: A Perennial Hot Button," by Alicia H. Munnell (IB#32, June 2005, .pdf format, 9p.).

8. NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS REPORT: "Reforming Social Security: Lessons from Thirty Countries," (NCPA Study No. 277, June 2005, .pdf and HTML format, 35p.).

9. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU ARTICLE: "The Future of Social Security," by Christine Himes (June 2005, HTML format).


A. "Obesity in middle age and future risk of dementia: a 27 year longitudinal population based study," by Rachel A. Whitmer, Erica P. Gunderson, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Charles P. Quesenberry, Jr., and Kristine Yaffe (_BMJ_, vol. 330, no. 7504, June 11, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1360-1362).

B. "Risk of myocardial infarction in patients taking cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors or conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: population based nested case-control analysis," by Julia Hippisley-Cox and Carol Coupland (_BMJ_, vol. 330, no. 7504, June 11, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1366-1369).

C. "Differences in outcomes of patients with congestive heart failure prescribed celecoxib, rofecoxib, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: population based study," by Marie Hudson and Hugues Richard, Louise Pilote (_BMJ_, vol. 330, no. 7504, June 11, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1370-1373).

11. _JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Do Quality Improvement Organizations Improve the Quality of Hospital Care for Medicare Beneficiaries?" by Claire Snyder and Gerard Anderson (_JAMA_, vol. 293, no. 23, June 15, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2900-2907).


A. "Rock on, Grandpa!" by Sally Abrahms (vol. 65, no. 25, June 20, 2005).,9171,1071269,00.html

B. "Who Cares More for Mom?" by Francine Russo (vol. 65, no. 25, June 20, 2005).,9171,1071271,00.html

13. _FORBES_ ARTICLE: "Rx For Fraud," by Nathan Vardi (_Forbes_, June, 20, 2005). Note: Registration is required to access this article.

14. WLS BIBLIOGRAPHY UPDATES: These citations, along with all of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study bibliography, can be found at:

Hauser, Robert M. February 2005. "Survey Response in the Long Run: The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study." Field Methods 17(1):3-29. Sage Publications.

Brand, Jennie E., Halaby, Charles N. "Regression and Matching Estimates of the Effects of Elite College Attendance on Educational and Career Achievement."

Marks, Nadine F., Lambert, James David. November 1998. "Marital Status Continuity and Change Among Young and Midlife Adults: Longitudinal Effects on Psychological Well-Being." Journal of Family Issues 19(6):652-686. Sage Publications, Inc..

15. HRS BIBLIOGRAPHY UPDATE: The following items have recently been added to the Health and Retirement Study. For the full bibliography see:

Book Chapter:

Frytak, J. R., Harley, C. R., and Finch, M. D. Socioeconomic Status and Health over the Life Course: Capital as a Unifying Concept. In: Handbook of the Life Course, ed. Jeylan T. Mortimer and Michael J. Shanahan. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2003.pp. 623-643.

Samwick, A. and Wise, D. A. Option Value Estimation with HRS Data. In: Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States, eds. S. Ogura, T. Tachibanaki, and D. Wise. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.pp. 205-228.

Journal Article:

Haider, S. J., Schoeni, R. F., and Jacknowitz, A., Food Stamps and the Elderly: Why is Participation So Low? Journal of Human Resources, vol. 38, pp. 1080-1111, 2003.

Luo, Y. and Waite, L. J., The Impact of Childhood and Adult SES on Physical, Mental, and Cognitive Well-Being in Later Life Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences, vol. 60B, pp. S93-S1012005.

Lusardi, A., Preparing for Retirement: The Importance of Planning Costs National Tax Association Proceedings, vol. pp. 148-154, 2002.

Siegel, M. J., Bradley, E. H., Gallo, W. T., and Kasl, S. V., The Effect of Spousal Mental and Physical Health on Husbands' and Wives' Depressive Symptoms, Among Older Adults: Longitudinal Evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey Journal of Aging and Health, vol. 16, pp. 398-425, 2004.


Altonji, J.G. and Villanueva, E., The Marginal Propensity to Spend on Adult Children 2003. NBER Working Paper 9811. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Bassett, W.F. and Lumsdaine, R.L., Outlook, Outcomes, and Optimism 1999. Brown University. Brown University Working Paper .

Bender, K.A. and Jivan, N.A., What Makes Retirees Happy? 2005. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. CRR Issue Brief 28.

Benitez-Silva, H., Micro Determinants of Labor Force Status Among Older Americans 2000. SUNY at Stony Brook.

Blau, D.M. and Gilleskie, D.B., The Role of Retiree Health Insurance in the Employment Behavior of Older Men 2003. NBER Working Paper No. W10100. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Brown, J.R., Differential Mortality and the Value of Individual Account Retirement Annuities 2000. NBER Working Paper 7560. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Brown, J.R., How Should We Insure Longevity Risk in Pensions and Social Security? 2000. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. CRR Issue Brief 4.

Copeland, C., Changes in Wealth for Americans Reaching or Just Past Normal Retirement Age 2005. EBRI Issue Brief No. 277. Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Cutler, D. and Glaser, E., What Explains Differences in Smoking, Drinking and Other Health-Related Behaviors? 2005. NBER Working Paper No. 11100. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Engen, E.M., Gale, W.G., and Uccello, C.E., Are Households Saving Adequately for Retirement? A Progress Report on Three Projects 2001. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. CRR Conference Paper.

Gruber, J. and Kubik, J.D., Health Insurance Coverage and the Disability Insurance Application Decision 2003. Employee Benefits, Compensation and Pension Law. Revision of NBER Working Paper w9148.

Ippolito, R.A., Education Versus Savings as Explanations for Better Health: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study 2003. Employee Benefits, Compensation and Pension Law.

Johnson, R.W., Medicare, Retirement Costs, and Labor Supply at Older Ages 2002. CCR WP 2002-08. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Johnson, R.W. and Favreault, M.M., Retiring Together or Working Alone: The Impact of Spousal Employment and Disability on Retirement Decisions. 2001. CRR WP 2001-01. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Johnson, R.W. and Uccello, C.E., Can Cash Balance Pension Plans Improve Retirement Security for Today's Workers? 2002. The Retirement Project Brief Series. The Urban Institute.

Kreider, B. and Pepper, J.V., Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors 2003. Employee Benefits, Compensation and Pension Law.

Lusardi, A., Precautionary Saving and the Accumulation of Wealth 2000. Dartmouth College.

Lusardi, A., Explaining Why So Many Households Do Not Save 2002. Dartmouth College, Dept. of Economics.

Lusardi, A., The Impact of Financial Education on Savings and Asset Allocation 2003. Michigan Retirement Research Center WP 2003-061. Ann Arbor, Mich.

Mellor, J.M. and Jensen, E.R., The Impact of Own Children on Retirement Portfolio Composition in the United States 2001. College of William and Mary, Dept. of Economics.

Michaud, P.-C. and Van Soest, A., Health and Wealth of Elderly Couples: Causality Tests Using Dynamic Panel Data Models 2005. Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

Rosen, H.S. and Wu, S., Portfolio Choice and Health Status 2003. Employee Benefits, Compensation and Pension Law. Revision of NBER Working Paper No. w9453.

Smith, J.P., Consequences and Predictors of New Health Events 2003. Institute for Fiscal Studies WP03/22. London, UK.

Uccello, C.E., Are Americans Saving Enough for Retirement? 2001. Issue Brief No. 7. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Uccello, C.E. and Perese, K., Wealth Accumulation in the Health and Retirement Study: The Importance of Including Pension Wealth 1999. The Urban Institute. Final Report for the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.


III. Working Papers:


A. "The Value of Health and Longevity," by Kevin M. Murphy and Robert H. Topel (Working Paper No. w11405, June 2005, .pdf format, 59p.).


We develop an economic framework for valuing improvements to health and life expectancy, based on individuals' willingness to pay. We then apply the framework to past and prospective reductions in mortality risks, both overall and for specific life-threatening diseases. We calculate (i) the social values of increased longevity for men and women over the 20th century; (ii) the social value of progress against various diseases after 1970; and (iii) the social value of potential future progress against various major categories of disease. The historical gains from increased longevity have been enormous. Over the 20th century, cumulative gains in life expectancy were worth over $1.2 million per person for both men and women. Between 1970 and 2000 increased longevity added about $3.2 trillion per year to national wealth, an uncounted value equal to about half of average annual GDP over the period. Reduced mortality from heart disease alone has increased the value of life by about $1.5 trillion per year since 1970. The potential gains from future innovations in health care are also extremely large. Even a modest 1 percent reduction in cancer mortality would be worth nearly $500 billion.

B. "Alternative Methods of Price Indexing Social Security: Implications for Benefits and System Financing," by Andrew G. Biggs, Jeffrey R. Brown, and Glenn Springstead (Working Paper No. w11406, June 2005, .pdf format, 39p.).


This paper explains four methods of "price indexing" initial Social Security retirement benefits, and discusses the effect of each method on the fiscal sustainability of Social Security, benefit levels and replacement rates, redistribution, and sensitivity of system finances to demographic and economic shocks. Of these methods, PIA Factor Indexing would generate the largest cost savings while reducing benefit growth at approximately an equal rate for all income levels. Methods that index the AIME, the formula "bend points," or both, would reduce benefit growth at a slower rate and would have different effects on benefit distribution and system sustainability.

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

C. "Inequality, Social Discounting and Estate Taxation," by Emmanuel Farhi and Ivan Werning (Working Paper No. w11408, June 2005, .pdf format, 41p.).


To what degree should societies allow inequality to be inherited? What role should estate taxation play in shaping the intergenerational transmission of welfare? We explore these questions by modeling altruistically-linked individuals who experience privately observed taste or productivity shocks. Our positive economy is identical to models with infinite-lived individuals where efficiency requires immiseration: inequality grows without bound and everyone's consumption converges to zero. However, under an intergenerational interpretation, previous work only characterizes a particular set of Pareto-efficient allocations: those that value only the initial generation's welfare. We study other efficient allocations where the social welfare criterion values future generations directly, placing a positive weight on their welfare so that the effective social discount rate is lower than the private one. For any such difference in social and private discounting we find that consumption exhibits mean-reversion and that a steady-state, cross-sectional distribution for consumption and welfare exists, where no one is trapped at misery. The optimal allocation can then be implemented by a combination of income and estate taxation. We find that the optimal estate tax is progressive: fortunate parents face higher average marginal tax rates on their bequests.

17. URBAN INSTITUTE: "Improving Tax Incentives for Low-Income Savers: The Saver's Credit," by William G. Gale, J. Mark Iwry, and Peter Orszag (Discussion Paper No. 22, June 2005, .pdf format, 15p.).

18. PENN INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH [UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA]: "Social Security and the Retirement and Savings Behavior of Low Income Households," by Wilbert van der Klaauw and Kenneth I. Wolpin (Working Paper 05-020, March 2005, .pdf format, 52p.).


In this paper, we develop and estimate a model of retirement and savings incorporating limited borrowing, stochastic wage offers, health status and survival, social security benefits, Medicare and employer provided health insurance coverage, and intentional bequests. The model is estimated on sample of relatively poor households from the first three waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), for whom we would expect social security income to be of particular importance. The estimated model is used to simulate the responses to several counterfactual experiments corresponding to changes in social security rules. These include changes in benefit levels, in the payroll tax, in the social security earnings tax and in early and normal retirement ages.

19. INSTITUTE FOR FISCAL STUDIES [LONDON]: "Estimating pension wealth of ELSA respondents," by James Banks, Carl Emmerson and Gemma Tetlow (IFS Working Papers, W05/9, May 2005, .pdf format, 68p.).


This paper explains the methodology used for calculating pension wealth for all individuals in the first wave of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). We focus on the pension wealth of individuals aged between 50 and the state pension age. Both state and private pension wealth has been calculated and each has been calculated both on the basis of immediate retirement in 2002 and on the basis of retirement at the state pension age. Sensitivity analysis of our assumptions is also presented, which shows that the distribution of pension wealth is sensitive to our assumptions about the discount rate and contracting out histories but insensitive to assumptions about future earnings growth, future annuity rates and future asset returns.

20. STATISTICS NORWAY: "Effects of demographic development, labour supply and pension reforms on the future pension burden," by Dennis Fredriksen and Nils Martin Stølen (Discussion Paper 418, April 2005, .pdf format, 29p.).


A much higher old-age dependency ratio together with more generous pension benefits will lead to a substantial increase in the future pension burden in Norway. The challenges of financing the increasing pension expenditures depend on the development in demographic characteristics like fertility, mortality and immigration, as well as characteristics affecting supply of labour, like education, disability, retirement age, participation rates and part time work (especially for women), and the design of the pension system. By use of a dynamic micro simulation model the paper analyses and projects how these factors will affect the expenditures and financing of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. The model also allows analyses of distributional effects of pension reforms.


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

21. Age and Aging (vol. 34, no. 4, July 2005).

22. Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 9, No. 4, July 2005).

23. American Journal of Epidemiology (vol. 161, no. 12, June 15, 2005 & vol. 162, 1, Jul. 1, 2005).

Jun. 15:

Jul. 1:

24. 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.

International Journal of Ageing and Human Development (vol. 60, no. 4, 2005).

Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology (vol. 20, no. 1, 2005).


25. 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 June 15, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of June 15, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of June 15, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of June 15, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of June 15, 2005:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of June 15, 2005:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

26. NIH: "Inflammation, Inflammatory Mediators and Aging," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, RFA-AG-05-011, June 8, 2005).

27. TIAA CREF INSTITUTE: "2005 TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award," deadline for registration is September 9, 2005. "The The TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award recognizes outstanding scholarly writing on issues related to lifelong financial security. Named in honor of the Nobel laureate and former CREF Trustee, this award is given each year in recognition of an outstanding research publication containing ideas that the public and private sectors can use to maintain and improve Americans' financial well being."


VI. Conferences/Seminars:

28. RETIREMENT SECURITY PROJECT: "Protecting Low-Income and Moderate-Income Families' Savings," a discussion to be held June 21, 2005 (Brooking Institute, Washington, DC). For more information about the discussion:

29. AARP GLOBAL AGING PROGRAM: "Prescription Drug Importation: Can it Help America's Seniors?" a symposium to be held June 22, 2005 (National Press Club, Washington, DC). For more information:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

30. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE BUDGET HEARING TESTIMONY: "Pensions Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) Unfunded Pension Liabilities: Will Taxpayers have to Pay the Bill?" a hearing held June 9, 2005.

Hearing testimony (.pdf format) for the two witnesses can be found at:

David M. Walker Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office:

Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, Director, Congressional Budget Office:


A. "Fifth in a Series of Subcommittee Hearings on Protecting and Strengthening Social Security," a hearing held June 14, 2005.

Hearing testimony:

B. "Sixth in a Series of Subcommittee Hearings on Protecting and Strengthening Social Security," a hearing held June 16, 2005.

Hearing testimony:

32. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH, HEARING TESTIMONY: "Hearing on Post-Acute Care," a hearing held June 16, 2005.

Hearing testimony:

33. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS HEARING TESTIMONY: "Meeting the Housing and Service Needs of Seniors," a hearing held June 16, 2005.

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):

34. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON SECURITIES AND INVESTMENT, HEARING TESTIMONY: "The Role of the Financial Markets in Social Security Reform," a hearing held June 14, 2005.

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):


A. "Keeping the Power On: Examining the Impact of Soaring Energy Costs on the Elderly," a hearing held June 15, 2005.

Hearing testimony:

B. "Internet Pharmacy and Drug Importation: Exploring Risks and Benefits," a hearing held January 26, 2005 (S. Hrg. 109-23, .pdf and ASCII format, 74p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "109-23" (without the quotes).

C. "Social Security: Do We have to Act Now?" a hearing held February 3, 2005 (S.Hrg. 109-24, .pdf and ASCII format, 147p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "109-24" (without the quotes).




Charlie Fiss
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Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
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