The Economic Well-Being of Older People in International Perspective: A Critical Review

Luxembourg Income Study Working Paper No. 306

36 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2002

See all articles by Richard F. Disney

Richard F. Disney

University of Nottingham; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Axia Economics

Edward Whitehouse

Axia Economics

Date Written: June 2002

Abstract

This paper surveys a dozen international comparative studies of poverty, income distribution and older people in industrialized countries using data up to the mid-1990s. It addresses a series of questions. At what level are the incomes of the elderly relative to the population as a whole? How has this changed over the past two decades? How many of the old are poor? How many of the poor are old? Are the oldest of the old poorer than younger pensioners are? The results show that the incomes of older people are typically around 80 percent of incomes of the whole population. This ratio has been increasing over the past two decades in most countries. Although there remain pockets of poverty among the elderly, the old are generally represented proportionally or under-represented among the poor.

Suggested Citation

Disney, Richard F. and Whitehouse, Edward, The Economic Well-Being of Older People in International Perspective: A Critical Review (June 2002). Luxembourg Income Study Working Paper No. 306. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=324883 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.324883

Richard F. Disney

University of Nottingham ( email )

School of Economics
Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom
+44 115 951 5620 (Phone)
+44 115 951 4159 (Fax)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Axia Economics ( email )

38 Concanon Road
London SW2 5TA
United Kingdom

Edward Whitehouse (Contact Author)

Axia Economics ( email )

38 Concanon Road
London SW2 5TA
United Kingdom

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