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Poverty and Aging

Joseph Marchand () and Timothy Smeeding ()
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Timothy Smeeding: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, Postal: IRP 3464 William H. Sewell Social Sciences Building, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI, USA, 53706

No 2016-11, Working Papers from University of Alberta, Department of Economics

Abstract: This chapter explores the relationship between poverty and aging, in terms of its measurement and trends, as well as its alleviation, with particular attention to the most vulnerable individuals at each end of the age distribution. The measurement addresses both the definition of poverty and its aggregation over various age groups. The trends highlight a significant reduction in poverty among the elderly and a gradual increase in poverty among children and working age individuals, both in the United States and across the greater developed world, over the past 50 years. Two important secular changes are also detected: a college spike and a retirement dip in poverty across the age distribution. The alleviation of poverty is then attributed to working in the labor market and to social expenditure and its associated policies, which have been especially effective for the elderly. A summary and a discussion follow that set forth an agenda for further research and policy.

Keywords: aging; children; distribution; elderly; income; labor market; poverty; public policy; retirement; social expenditure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D30 D60 H50 I30 J10 J20 J30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-lab, nep-ltv and nep-pbe
Date: 2016-08-16, Revised 2016-11-20
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