Patterns of Aging in Thailand and Cote D'Ivoire
This paper is broadly concerned with the living standards of older people in two contrasting developing countries, Cote d'Ivoire and Thailand. We use a series of household surveys from these two countries to present evidence on factors affecting the living standards of the elderly: living arrangements, labor force participation, illness, urbanization, income and consumption. One of the issues we examine is whether life-cycle patterns of income aid consumption can be detected in the data. The fact that few of the elderly live alone makes it difficult to accurately measure the welfare levels of the elderly, or to make statements about the life-cycle patterns of income aid consumption of individuals. We find that labor force participation and individual income patterns follow the standard life-cycle hump shapes in both countries, but that avenge living standards within households are quite flat over the life-cycle. The data presented suggest that changes in family composition aid living arrangements of the elderly are likely to be more important sources of old-age insurance than asset accumulation.
David A. Wise, editor. Topics in the Economics of Aging. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, pp. 163-206, April 1992.