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The Bulletin on Aging & Health

The emerging field of behavioral economics has yielded important insights into how individuals make choices. Standard economic theory assumes that individuals are rational, forward-looking consumers who make choices so as to maximize their utility (or happiness). However, numerous laboratory and field studies now show that individuals often have difficulty making wise choices. Difficulties are particularly likely when individuals are faced with decisions that involve...

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Research Summaries

The population fertility rate is an important determinant of the future needs of the population, since the fertility rate largely determines the age structure of the population. A sudden rise in the fertility rate will increase the demand for childcare and schools. A decline in the fertility rate will put more pressure on programs such as Social Security that are directed towards older people and funded on a pay-as-you-go basis. In "The Future of American Fertility" (NBER...
Along with the problem of the uninsured, rising health care costs are the largest challenge facing the U.S. health care system today. Health care costs rose steadily during the latter half of the 20th century, from 5 percent of GDP in 1950 to over 15 percent today. Experts agree that costs will continue to rise over the next half century, putting pressure on government, businesses, and individuals, although there is no clear consensus on how high costs might go. A new...

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