Textbook details the economics of aging

03/01/05

ITHACA, N.Y. -- As the demographic tsunami known as the baby-boom generation approaches age 65, long-delayed and painful changes in Social Security and Medicare policies must be made to ensure the long-term financial stability of these vital social programs. But which changes and who will pay are unresolved and politically charged questions.

A new textbook, The Economics of an Aging Society (Blackwell Publishing, 2004), co-authored by Richard V. Burkhauser, the Sarah Gibson Blanding Professor of Policy Analysis in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, goes beyond the political rhetoric of change by providing a detailed presentation of the demographic forces that make changes inevitable and a method for evaluating how the changes will impact the employment and economic well-being of current and future older populations.

The text has a strong policy focus based on demographic and economic analyses and covers population aging, income of the elderly, economic well-being of older Americans, economics of retirement and old age, retirement policies and pension plans, Social Security and disability programs, health and long-term care for older persons as well as an international picture on the consequences of aging.

"As longtime players in the world of federal retirement, disability and health programs that affect older Americans, my co-authors and I attempt to present the policy issues surrounding these programs in a factual context and to offer the principles of economic analysis that readers can use to make choices for themselves," says Burkhauser.

Each chapter of the 362-page text begins with learning objectives and a chapter outline and ends with discussion questions, detailed endnotes and a list of references. The book is linked to a detailed Web page where the authors offer numerous online supplements to text material, including links, resources and a feedback section.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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