Health Capacity to Work at Older Ages: Evidence from Italy
Public programs that benefit older individuals, such as Social Security, may be changed in the future in ways that reflect an expectation of longer work lives. But do older Italians have the health capacity to work longer? This paper explores this question by asking how much older individuals could work if they worked as much as those with the same mortality rate in the past or as much as their younger counterparts in similar health. Using both methods, we estimate that there is significant additional capacity to work at older ages. We also explore whether there are differences in health capacity across education groups and whether health has improved more over time for the highly educated, using education quartiles to surmount the challenge of changing levels of education over time.
This paper is part of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s International Social Security (ISS) Project, which is supported by the National Institute on Aging (grant P01 AG012810). The authors are indebted to Raluca Elena Buia for excellent research assistance. We also thank the members of the other country teams in the ISS project for comments that helped to shape this paper.
This paper uses SHARE data. The SHARE data collection has been funded by the European Commission (http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?lg=en) through the 5th framework programme (http://cordis.europa.eu/fp5/) (project QLK6-CT-2001-00360 in the thematic programme Quality of Life). Further support by the European Commission through the 6th framework programme (http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp6/index_en.cfm) (projects SHARE-I3, RII-CT-2006-062193, as an Integrated Infrastructure Initiative, COMPARE, CIT5-CT-2005-028857, as a project in Priority 7, Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge Based Society, and SHARE-LIFE (CIT4-CT-2006-028812)), through the 7th framework programme (http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/home_en.html) (SHARE-PREP (No 211909), SHARE-LEAP (No 227822) and M4 (No 261982) and through Horizon 2020 (SHAREDEV3 (No 676536 and SERISS (No 654221) is gratefully acknowledged.
Substantial co-funding for add-ons such as the intensive training and retention program and the collection of HRS-harmonised biomarkers was granted by the US National Institute on Aging (http://www.nia.nih.gov/) (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, R21 AG025169, Y1-AG-4553-01, IAG BSR06-11, OGHA 04-064 and BSR12-04). Substantial funding for the central coordination of SHARE was received from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (http://www.bmbf.de/en/index.php) (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) and the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. Additional country level funding is reported on the SHARE project web site.
Agar Brugiavini acknowledges funding for this project from the Italian Ministry of Research (2010T8XAXB_001 PRIN project)Guglielmo Weber
Guglielmo Weber acknowledges funding for this project from the Italian Ministry of Research (2010T8XAXB_005 project), and the University of Padova (POPA_EHR project).