This week sees the celebration of the UN's International Day of Older Persons. The theme for 2018 highlights the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and "reaffirms the commitment to promoting the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons."
Almost 700 million people worldwide are now over 60, a number which is expected to increase to 1.4 billion by 2030. The needs and challenges faced by older people therefore require greater attention.
Late-life workers, whether part-time or full-time, have higher levels of well-being than retirees, writes Carol Graham. "Higher levels of well-being are in turn associated with better health and greater productivity, suggesting that the benefits of such arrangements could extend beyond the individual to society."
Graham suggests that, "At a time when unemployment, workforce productivity, and health problems related to an aging population present multifaceted challenges, exploring the potential contribution of flexible work arrangements in meeting these challenges is a low-risk and potentially high pay-off proposition."
Once workers do retire, the available research suggests that there is “considerable variation in the health effects of retirement across different contexts and/or subpopulations.” While the complex effects of retirement on health make it difficult to derive firm policy recommendations, Andreas Kuhn writes that “given that retirees’ health behavior is the primary causal mechanism, it might be worthwhile to think about instruments to encourage good health behavior among retirees (e.g. by providing subsidies for services promoting good health).”
All newly published one-pagers are also available to read and download in German.Find out more.
Opinion: Should genetics shape policy?
Steven F. Lehrer
Knowledge generated from genomics research is currently being integrated into diagnostics, preventive medicine, and therapeutics. Genetic data has also helped accelerate the development of new pharmaceutical medicines. Only recently have data sets containing genetic information become large enough to sport the rare genetic variants responsible for specific diseases. In this vein, just last month, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline invested $300 million in the consumer genetics company 23andMe to gain access to more genetic data. Read the full commentary.
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3rd IZA Workshop: The Economics of Education, October 4-6. The aim of the workshop is to bring together about 30 researchers working on the economics of education, in particular on the theme "Education and the Labor Market."