Exploring the Risks and Consequences of Elder Fraud Victimization: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study

28 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2018 Last revised: 26 Mar 2018

See all articles by Marguerite DeLiema

Marguerite DeLiema

Stanford University - Stanford Center on Longevity

Martha Deevy

Stanford University - Stanford Center on Longevity

Annamaria Lusardi

George Washington University - Department of Accountancy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Olivia S. Mitchell

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 1, 2017

Abstract

This is the first study to use longitudinal data to explore both the antecedents and consequences of fraud victimization in the older population. Because older persons are close to or past the peak of their wealth accumulation, they are often the targets of fraud. This paper reports on analysis of the Leave Behind Questionnaires (LBQs) fielded on Health and Retirement Study (HRS) respondents over three survey waves in 2008, 2010, and 2012. We evaluate the demographic determinants and risk factors of reporting financial fraud victimization in the survey, and explore whether there are demographic subgroups of older victims. In addition, we examine the financial, physical and psychological consequences of fraud. Overall results suggest that there is no single reliable predictor of fraud victimization across all three LBQ samples. When LBQ responses were pooled across survey years, we found that younger, male, better-educated, and depressed persons reported being defrauded significantly more often. Victimization was associated with lower nonhousing wealth in the combined sample controlling for other factors, but had no measurable impact on cognitive, psychological, or physical health outcomes. Future research should examine predictors and outcomes based on the type of financial fraud experienced and the amount of money lost.

Keywords: elder fraud, risk factors, demographic determinants

Suggested Citation

DeLiema, Marguerite and Deevy, Martha and Lusardi, Annamaria and Mitchell, Olivia S., Exploring the Risks and Consequences of Elder Fraud Victimization: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study (December 1, 2017). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2017-364. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3124952 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3124952

Marguerite DeLiema

Stanford University - Stanford Center on Longevity ( email )

Stanford University
579 Serra Mall (Serra at Galvez) - Landau Building
Stanford, CA 94305-6053
United States

Martha Deevy

Stanford University - Stanford Center on Longevity ( email )

Stanford University
579 Serra Mall (Serra at Galvez) - Landau Building
Stanford, CA 94305-6053
United States

Annamaria Lusardi

George Washington University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

George Washington University School of Business
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://business.gwu.edu/profiles/annamaria-lusardi/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Olivia S. Mitchell (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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