Health Capacity to Work at Older Ages: Evidence from the U.S.
Public programs that benefit older individuals, such as Social Security and Medicare, may be changed in the future in ways that reflect an expectation of longer work lives. But do older Americans 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 Maurice Dalton for expert research assistance. We also thank the members of the other country teams in the ISS project for comments that helped to shape this paper, as well as seminar participants at Wellesley College and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Kevin S. Milligan
January 17, 2016
This document attempts to disclose completely my potential conflicts of interest, using the principles circulated by the American Economic Association on January 5, 2012.
Item (2): Sources of support:
“Each author of a submitted article should identify each interested party from whom he or she has received significant financial support, summing to at least $10,000 in the past three years, …”
The following corresponds to the calendar years 2012-2015. Below is a complete listing of sources of support that exceed $10,000. For several of these, a grant flowed through a research organization. I have tried to list both the research organization and ultimate source of the funds.
1. University of British Columbia: salary. (2012 2013 2014 2015)
2. National Institute on Aging / National Bureau of Economic Research: stipend for International Social Security project. (2012 2013 2014 )
3. National Bureau of Economic Research / Social Security Administration: stipend for paper. (2013)
4. Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network / Human Resources and Skills Development Canada: stipend for paper and directing research series. (2012 2013)
5. Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Standard Research Grant. (2012 2013 2015)
6. C.D. Howe Institute, stipend for role as Scholar-in-Residence (2014 2015)
Item (3): relevant paid or unpaid positions:
“Each author should disclose any paid or unpaid positions as officer, director, or board member of relevant non-profit advocacy organizations or profit-making entities.”
The following list covers activities in the years 2012-2015:
1. Editor, Canadian Tax Journal. (Paid) (2012 2013 2014 2015)
2. Associate Editor, Journal of Pension Economics and Finance. (Unpaid) (2012 2013 2014 2015)
3. Academic Director, British Columbia Interuniversity Research Data Centre (Unpaid; teaching release / research stipend). Funded by UBC/UVIC/SFU/UNBC/SSHRC/CIHR. (2012 2013 2014 2015)
4. President and sole shareholder of KAYEMM CONSULTANCY INCORPORATED, through which some of the above funds have been received. (2012 2013 2014 2015)
5. Board of Directors, Wesley Place Ltd., Vancouver BC. (Unpaid) (2012 2013 2014 2015)
6. Board of Directors, National Tax Association. (Unpaid) (2012)
7. Member of Economic Advisory Council for Liberal Party of Canada. (Unpaid) (2014 2015)
Item (4): disclosure for close relative or partner
I had no domestic partner in the years 2012-2015.
1. Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research. (Unpaid) (2012 2013 2014 2015)
2. Research Fellow, C.D. Howe Institute. (Unpaid) (2012 2013 2014)
3. Scholar-in-Residence, C.D. Howe Institute. (Stipend) (2014 2015)
4. Occasional contributor, Economy Lab, Globe and Mail. (Unpaid) (2012 2013)
5. Occasional contributor, Maclean’s Econowatch. (Paid) (2013 2014 2015)
I hold shares in companies through broadly-diversified mutual funds and investment vehicles. I do not directly hold shares of any corporation (except for KAYEMM CONSULTANCY as noted above).
I am not a member of any political party at the municipal, provincial, or federal levels. I have occasional policy conversations with policymakers from all parties, as well as government officials.
- Health status at older ages has improved, not worsened; labor force participation has not kept pace. Raising the eligibility...
Health Capacity to Work at Older Ages: Evidence from the United States, Courtney Coile, Kevin Milligan, David A. Wise. in Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Capacity to Work at Older Ages, Wise. 2017