Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #341--June 8, 2006


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. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT STUDY UPDATE: Note: free registration is required to access HRS data. The University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study has announced: "RAND HRS Data (Version F)" (Jun 2, 2006). For more information see:

HRS data access information:


II. Reports and articles:

2. US CENTER FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID NEWS RELEASE: "CMS Establishes New Quality Measures For Organ Procurement Organizations" (May 30, 2006).

3. US MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY CHARTBOOK: "Outpatient Prescription Drug Expenses in the U.S. Community Population, 2003," by Marie N. Stagnitti (US Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Chartbook #16, June 2006, .pdf format, 40p.).

4. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REGIONAL OFFICE FOR EUROPE REPORT: "What evidence is there for the prevention and screening of osteoporosis?" (May 2006, .pdf format, 40p. by Olof Johnell and Peter Hertzman).

5. ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT BRIEF REPORT: "Economic Survey of the Czech Republic 2006: Ensuring fiscal sustainability: assessing recent proposals for pension reform" (June 2006). This section is part of a policy brief: "Economic Survey of the Czech Republic" (June 2006, .pdf format, 12p.).,2340,en_2649_37435_36629385_1_1_1_37435,00.html

Click on "The Policy Brief (pdf format) in English" under "How to obtain this publication" about 2/3 of the way down the page.

6. STATISTICS CANADA/STATISTIQUE CANADA REPORT: "Residential Care Facilities" (June 2006, .pdf format, 122p.). The report is linked to from a SC "The Daily" article: "Residential care facilities: 2002/2003 and 2003/2004" (Jun. 2, 2006).

Click on "83-237-XIE" at the bottom of the article and follow the link to "View"

7. STATISTICS NETHERLANDS WEB MAGAZINE ARTICLE: "Number of centenarians stable," by Joop Garssen (May 30, 2006).

8. STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA REPORT: "Mortality and causes of death in South Africa: Findings from death notification, 2003-2004,"(Statistical Release P0309.3, May 2006, .pdf format, 161p., with data in .zip compressed ASCII text format, and data documentation in .zip compressed ASCII text and .pdf format, 214p.).


A. "Legislative Issues in North Carolina: A Survey of Residents 50 Plus," by Erica L. Dinger (May 2006, .pdf format, 29p.).

B. "Reimagining America: AARP's Blueprint for the Future" (June 2006, .pdf format, 30p.).

Click on "Read this important document" for link to full text.

C. "Consumer-Directed Home and Community-Based Services," by Enid Kassner (AARP Public Policy Institute Fact Sheet, May 2006, .pdf format, 2p.).

10. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT: "Retired Steelworkers and Their Health Benefits: Results from a 2004 Survey" (May 2006, .pdf format, 60p.).

11. URBAN INSTITUTE BRIEF REPORT: "Older Adults Engaged as Volunteers," by Sheila R. Zedlewski and Simone G. Schaner (Perspectives on Productive Aging Brief #6, May 2006, .pdf format, 7p.).

Perspectives on Productive Aging Series:

12. RAND CORPORATION RESEARCH BRIEF: "Redefining and Reforming Health Care for the Last Years of Life," by Joanne Lynn and David Adamson (Rand Research Highlights, May 2006, .pdf format, 5p.).

Click on "Full Document" for link to full text. The page also links to a Rand White Paper published in 2003 on the subject


A. "Social Security's Financial Outlook: The 2006 Update in Perspective," by Alicia H. Munnell (IB#46, May 2006, .pdf format, 7p.). Links to an introduction and full text are available at:

B. "Learning by Teaching," by Steven Sass, Francis Vitagliano, and Luke Delorme (IB#47, May 2006, .pdf format, 5p.). Links to an introduction and full text are available at:

C. "A New National Retirement Risk Index," by Alicia H. Munnell, Anthony Webb, and Luke Delorme (IB#48, May 2006, .pdf format, 8p.). Links to an introduction and full text are available at:

14. CENTER ON BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES REPORT: "The State of the Estate Tax as of 2006," by Joel Friedman and Aviva Aron-Dine (June 2006, .pdf format, 5p.).

More information on CBPP:


A. "Epigenetic inactivation of the premature aging Werner syndrome gene in human cancer," by Ruben Agrelo, Wen-Hsing Cheng, Fernando Setien, Santiago Ropero, Jesus Espada, Mario F. Fraga, Michel Herranz, Maria F. Paz, Montserrat Sanchez-Cespedes, Maria Jesus Artiga, David Guerrero, Antoni Castells,Cayetano von Kobbe, Vilhelm A. Bohr, and Manel Esteller (Vol. 103, No. 23, Jun. 6, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, p. 8822-8827). Note: this article is freely available to the public.

B. "beta-Amyloid infusion results in delayed and age-dependent learning deficits without role of inflammation or beta-amyloid deposits," by Tarja Malm, Michael Ort, Leena Tahtivaara, Niko Jukarainen, Gundars Goldsteins, Jukka Puolivali, Antti Nurmi, Raimo Pussinen, Toni Ahtoniemi, Taina-Kaisa Miettinen, Katja Kanninen, Suvi Leskinen, Nina Vartiainen, Juha Yrjanheikki, Reino Laatikainen, Marni E. Harris-White, Milla Koistinaho, Sally A. Frautschy, Jan Bures, and Jari Koistinaho (Article Abstract, (Vol. 103, No. 23, Jun. 6, 2006, p. 8852-8857).

16. _JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Effect of a Clinical Pathway to Reduce Hospitalizations in Nursing Home Residents With Pneumonia: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Mark Loeb, Soo Chan Carusone, Ron Goeree, Stephen D. Walter, Kevin Brazil, Paul Krueger, Andrew Simor, Lorraine Moss, and Thomas Marrie (Vol. 295, No. 21, Jun. 7, 2006, p. 2503-2510).

17. _U.S.NEWS AND WORLD REPORT_ SPECIAL SECTION: The Jun. 12, 2006 edition contains a special section on retirement: "7 Reasons Not To Retire."

Additionally, the following topical articles are available:

A. "A Flexible Schedule--and No Stress," by James M. Pethokoukis

B. "Staying Fresh in Mind and Body," by Emily Brandon

C. "One Couple's Division of Labor," by Renuka Rayasam

D. "The Clientele Is Warm and Fuzzy," by Betsy Streisand

E. "Pricing Out Medicare: Will unveiling the expense of care help cut costs?" by Avery Comarow

18. _WEEKLY STANDARD_ ARTICLE: "The Population Sink: Philip Longman and the decline of populations," by Jonathan V. Last (Jun. 7, 2006).


III. Working Papers:

19. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "Composite Causal Effects for Time-Varying Treatments and Time-Varying Outcomes," by Jennie Brand and Yu Xie (PSC Research Report 06-601, June 2006, .pdf format, 29p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


A. "Love or Money? Health Insurance and Retirement Among Married Couples," by Kanika Kapur and Jeannette Rogowski (w12273, June 2006, .pdf format, 32p.).


This paper examines the role of employer provided health insurance in the retirement decisions of dual working couples. The near elderly have high-expected medical expenditures; therefore, availability of health insurance is an important factor in their retirement decisions. We determine if access to retiree health insurance for early retirement enables couples to time their retirement together -- a behavior called " joint retirement." We find that wives' retiree health insurance more than doubles the propensity to retire jointly, suggesting that health insurance is an important consideration in coordinating retirement decisions among couples. Even though retiree health insurance has a substantial effect on joint retirement, its effect on overall employment patterns is modest, accounting for a 2 percentage point fall in employment.

B. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson (w12269, June 2006, .pdf format, 88p.).


What is the effect of increasing life expectancy on economic growth? To answer this question, we exploit the international epidemiological transition, the wave of international health innovations and improvements that began in the 1940s. We obtain estimates of mortality by disease before the 1940s from the League of Nations and national public health sources. Using these data, we construct an instrument for changes in life expectancy, referred to as predicted mortality, which is based on the pre-intervention distribution of mortality from various diseases around the world and dates of global interventions. We document that predicted mortality has a large and robust effect on changes in life expectancy starting in 1940, but no effect on changes in life expectancy before the interventions. The instrumented changes in life expectancy have a large effect on population; a 1% increase in life expectancy leads to an increase in population of about 1.5%. Life expectancy has a much smaller effect on total GDP both initially and over a 40-year horizon, however. Consequently, there is no evidence that the large exogenous increase in life expectancy led to a significant increase in per capita economic growth. These results confirm that global efforts to combat poor health conditions in less developed countries can be highly effective, but also shed doubt on claims that unfavorable health conditions are the root cause of the poverty of some nations.


A. "Social Security Replacement Rates For Alternative Earnings Benchmarks," by Olivia S. Mitchell and John W. R. Phillips (WP 2006-6, 2006, .pdf format, 22p.).


Social Security reform proposals are often presented in terms of their differential impacts on hypothetical or 'example' workers. Our work explores how different benchmarks produce different replacement rate outcomes. We use the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to evaluate how Social Security benefit replacement rates differ for actual versus hypothetical earner profiles, and we examine whether these findings are sensitive to alternative definitions of replacement rates. We find that workers with the median HRS profile would be estimated to receive benefits worth 55% of lifetime average earnings, versus 48% for the SSA medium scaled profile. Since US policymakers tend to prefer a replacement rate measure tied to workers' own past earnings, using these metrics would yield higher replacement rates compared to commonly used scaled illustrative profiles. However, benchmarks that use population as opposed to individual earnings measures to compare individual worker benefits to pre-retirement consumption produce lower replacement rates for HRS versus hypothetical earners.

B. "Transitioning To Retirement: How Will Boomers Fare?" (WP 2006-7, 2006 PRC Conference Overview, June 2006, .pdf format, 18p.).

C. "Lessons from Pension Reform in the Americas" (WP 2006-8, 2006, March 2006 Conference Overview, organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta [Georgia], .pdf format, 38p.).

D. "The Chilean Pension Reform Turns 25: Lessons from the Social Protection Survey," by Alberto Arenas, David Bravo, Jere R. Behrman, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Petra E. Todd (WP 2006-9, 2006, .pdf format, 57p.).


In 1980, Chile dramatically reformed its retirement system, replacing what was an old insolvent PAYGO program with a new structure that relies heavily on funded defined contribution individual accounts. In addition, eligibility and benefit requirements were standardized, and a safety net for old-age poverty was strengthened. Twenty-five years after this reform, the Chilean model is being re-assessed, in terms of coverage, contribution, investment, and retirement benefit outcomes. This paper introduces a recently-developed longitudinal survey of individual respondents in Chile, the Social Protection Survey (or Encuesta de Prevision Social, EPS), and illustrates some uses of this survey for microeconomic analysis of key aspects of the Chilean system.


A. "The Long-Run Cost of Job Loss as Measured by Consumption Changes," by Martin Browning and Thomas F. Crossley (WP 152, June 2006, .pdf format, 50p.).


The costs of involuntary job loss are of substantial research and policy interest. We consider the measurement of the cost of job displacement with household expenditure data. With a Canadian panel survey of individuals who experienced a job separation, we compare the consumption growth of households that experienced a permanent layoff to a control group of households that experienced a temporary layoff with known recall date. Because the firms employing the latter group are providing insurance, these workers approximate a bench mark of full insurance against job loss shocks. We estimate that permanent layoffs experience an average consumption loss of between 4 and 10 percent. Older workers and workers with high job tenure have losses closer to the top of this range.

B. "Do the Rich Save More in Canada?" by Sule Alan, Kadir Atalay, and Thomas F. Crossley (WP 153, June 2006, .pdf format, 27p.).


This paper is an attempt to answer the long standing question of whether households with higher lifetime income save a larger fraction of their income. The major difficulty in empirically assessing the relationship between lifetime incomes and saving rates is to construct a credible proxy for lifetime income. The Canadian Family Expenditure Survey (FAMEX) provides us with both unusually good data on savings rates and potential instruments with which we can construct reliable lifetime income proxies. Our empirical analysis suggests that the estimated relationship between saving rates and lifetime incomes is sensitive to the instrument used to proxy lifetime income. Nevertheless, our preferred estimates indicate that, except for poorest households (who simply do not save), saving rates do not differ substantially across lifetime income groups.


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

23. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 163, No. 12, Jun. 15, 2006).

24. Research on Aging (Vol. 28, No. 4, July 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

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 Jun. 7, 2006:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 7, 2006:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 7, 2006:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Jun. 7, 2006:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Jun. 7, 2006:

F. Opthalmology Research: Literature for the week of Jun. 7, 2006:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

26. ALLIANCE FOR AGING RESEARCH ALMANACK: _The Silver Book: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation" (2006, .pdf format, 44p.).

More information about AAR:


VI. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Human Biospecimen Resources for Aging Research (R03)" (PA-06-443, May 31, 2006, National Institute on Aging). For more information see:

B. "International Research Collaboration--Behavioral, Social Sciences (FIRCA-BSS) [R03]" (PAR-06-437. May 31, 2006, reissue of PAR-05-073, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

28. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "The Retirement Policy Challenges and Opportunities of our Aging Society," a hearing held May 19, 2005 (.pdf format, 123p.).


VIII. Websites of Interest:

29. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: "Medicare Health and Drug Plan Tracker Update." "This updated resource also enables users to look up quick facts about the 1,429 stand-alone prescription drug plans offering Medicare benefits in 2006, including the number of participating plans, range of monthly premiums, share of plans with no deductible, and share of plans with a coverage gap. Users can see how premiums and deductibles for stand-alone drug plans vary by state and region, as well as the share of plans that have a gap in coverage, also known as a "doughnut hole," in which enrollees must pay the full cost of their drugs. It also reveals a difference in the number of plans that low- income beneficiaries who qualify for extra assistance can sign up for and have the government pay the full premium cost -- from a high of 16 such plans in South Carolina, Texas and Virginia to a low of six such plans in Arizona and Florida"

30. INTERNATIONAL NETWORK FOR THE PREVENTION OF ELDER ABUSE: "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Jun. 15, 2006." This site contains a "Community Guide Toolkit (.pdf and Microsoft Word format), an Awareness Day Flyer (.pdf format), a poster (.pdf format) and other information relevant to the topic.

More information about INPEA:

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