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Unequal ageing: life-expectancy, care needs and reforms to the welfare state

Current Project


Public Economics

Project Management

Peter Haan

Project Period

April 15, 2021 - October 31, 2024

Funded by

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

In Cooperation With

Antoine Bozio, Paris School of Economics, Institut des politiques publiques (IPP)
Carl Emmerson, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Mårten Palme, Stockholm University
Delphine Roy, Paris School of Economics, Institut des politiques publiques (IPP)
Kevin Milligan, University of British Columbia, Vancouver School of Economics
Tammy Schirle, Wilfrid Laurier University
Rowena Crawford, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Lisa Laun, Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU)

The main objective of this project is to analyse how inequalities in old age have developed over time and birth cohorts, to what extent public policies have influenced these trends, and to assess the potential of sociopolitical reforms to reduce such inequalities. This project analyses and compares data and sociopolitical reforms (retirement and longterm care) from North America (Canada), Western Europe (Germany, UK, France), and Scandinavia (Sweden).

First, we analyse inequalities in life expectancy and other life circumstances in a cross-country comparison. We document differences in life expectancy, health risks and longterm care risks along the income, wealth, education, and gender dimensions. Moreover, we assess whether these patterns are similar across countries. Based on these descriptive findings, we then evaluate the effects of sociopolitical reforms in the respective countries, focussing on retirement and longterm care systems. For Germany, we put a particular emphasis on the longterm care system and on informal care. Based on data of the German pension insurance and the Socioeconomic Panel, we analyse the effects of the so-called mother's pension (Mütterrente) as well as the longterm care reform 2017 on employment and informal care supply.

DIW Team