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Measuring Successful Aging With Respect for Preferences of Older Persons

Koen Decancq () and Alexander Michiels

Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 2019, vol. 74, issue 2, 364-372

Abstract: ObjectivesThis paper explores how to measure successful aging in a manner consistent with the preferences of older persons about what matters in their lives.MethodTo overcome the fact that existing objective and subjective measures of successful aging may not reflect the preferences of older persons about what matters in their lives, a new preference-based measure of successful aging is proposed. To implement the measure, the preferences of older persons are estimated using a statistical life satisfaction model, which is estimated with data from 11 European countries from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).ResultsThe proposed measure is found to yield different results compared to objective and subjective measures in terms of how successful aging has evolved between 2007 and 2013 and how countries are ranked for successful aging. Successful aging measured by a subjective measure is highest in 2011 compared to 2007 and 2013, for instance, whereas the ranking is reversed for the objective- and preference-based measures.DiscussionThe findings highlight the relevance of the degree of importance we attribute to the preferences of older persons in the measurement of successful aging, methodologically as well as empirically.

Keywords: Successful Aging; Preferences; SHARE; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:oup:geronb:v:74:y:2019:i:2:p:364-372.