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Williamson, James
Smeeding, Timothy M.
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
LIS Working Paper Series 388
In this article we examine the change in the mix of income and benefits that older adults receive as they age, with a focus on older women. Our study is a crossnational comparison of five OECD countries using the Luxemburg Income Study database. We investigate the change of private income and social benefits following synthetic cohorts for two decades. Our study reveals that older women rely heavily on socially provided benefits for a majority of their income, and these benefits are primarily responsible for whether older women find themselves in poverty or not. Older men and women in countries with relatively generous (or well targeted) social retirement and social transfer benefits have lower levels of poverty. A caveat of the study is a comparison of older adults who own their homes and those who rent. We find that older homeowners are less likely to be in poverty than renters. As the value of homes and homeownership increase, housing will become an especially important source of support in old age.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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