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Any opinions expressed are those of the authors. IRP publications (discussion papers, special reports, and the newsletter Focus) are now available on the Internet. Abstract Dramatic reductions in welfare caseloads since passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 have not allayed policy concerns about the(More)
CONTEXT Several well-publicized recent studies have suggested that disability among older Americans has declined in the last decade. OBJECTIVES To assess the quality, quantity, and consistency of recent evidence on US trends in the prevalence of self-rated old age disability and physical, cognitive, and sensory limitations during the late 1980s and 1990s(More)
When individuals fall on hard times, can they rely on their family for financial support? In view of proposed reductions in public assistance programs, it is important to understand the mechanisms through which families provide support for their members. In this article we provide evidence that intrafamily transfers are compensatory, directed(More)
This report describes the method used to estimate the foregone monetary benefits associated with health disparities that were reported in Overcoming Obstacles to Health: Report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Commission to Build a Healthier America. We estimate the annual dollar value of the benefits that would accrue to disadvantaged(More)
Using data from the 1997-2004 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), we examine the role of chronic conditions in recent declines in late-life disability prevalence. Building upon prior studies, we decompose disability declines into changes in the prevalence of chronic conditions and in the risk of disability given a condition. In doing so, we extend(More)
In September 2002, a technical working group met to resolve previously published inconsistencies across national surveys in trends in activity limitations among the older population. The 12-person panel prepared estimates from five national data sets and investigated methodological sources of the inconsistencies among the population aged 70 and older from(More)
OBJECTIVES Elderly widows are three times as likely to live in poverty as older married people. This study investigates the gap in poverty, income, and wealth between these groups. Focus is placed on the role played by out-of-pocket medical expenditures spent on dying spouses. METHODS A national panel survey of people age 70 and older in 1993 was used.(More)
The percentage of elderly widows living alone rose from 18% in 1940 to 62% in 1990, while the percentage living with adult children declined from 59% to 20%. This study finds that income growth, particularly increased Social Security benefits, was the single most important determinant of living arrangements, accounting for nearly one-half of the increase in(More)
Using national data from the U.S., we find that poor health at birth and limited parental resources (including low income, lack of health insurance, and unwanted pregnancy) interfere with cognitive development and health capital in childhood, reduce educational attainment, and lead to worse labor market and health outcomes in adulthood. These effects are(More)