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The Socio-Economic Determinants of Active Aging and the Public Policy Response toward the Elderly

Priority areas of development: economics
2013
Department: Laboratory of Public Sector Economic Research
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Research Object: Russia's elderly population and the characteristics of active aging.

Research Goal: To identify and to study the socio-economic determinants of active aging in Russia.

As part of this goal, a number of objectives were met:

  • We studied demographical research papers and forecasts predicting the size of the elderly population and what its socio-economic characteristics will be;
  • We studied theoretical concepts applied to aging and definitions of active aging;
  • We identified key factors favouring active aging at both the macro and micro levels;
  • We conducted empirical estimates to describe Russia's elderly with respect to socio-economic factors favouring and impeding active aging and estimated the proportion of Russia's elderly population that satisfies the actively aging criteria.

Empirical Base of the Research: Empirical data for this research was taken from three different databases: the RLMS survey (http://www.hse.ru/science/rlms); the World Health Organization Study of Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE), and a study conducted by the Yuri Levada Analytical Centre, "A Study of the Population on the Development of Healthy Lifestyles and the Specification of Government Guarantees on Healthcare in 2011”.

Research Results:

  • An analysis of theoretical concepts describing active aging and related concepts (healthy aging, successful aging, productive aging, and harmonious aging).
  • A classification of active aging components and indicators describing (measuring) these components.
  • Empirical estimates of Russia's elderly and their characteristics, using three available databases (health, lifestyle including different risk factors, work participation, use of free time, and physical activity).
  • An econometric analysis of the socio-economic determinants impacting selected indicators of the life of Russia's elderly (economic activity, labour activity, and social activity), as well as health status and life satisfaction.
  • A methodology, estimating the proportion of the actively aging population, that is based on a detailed analysis of theoretical concepts and empirical studies and uses the index method.
  • An empirical study of the proportion of Russia's elderly satisfying all the criteria of active aging adopted by the World Health Organization.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation, or outcomes of implementing the results:

The results of the current research will be used during the second stage of the project in 2014. The second stage involves a deeper investigation on the impact that selected socio-economic factors may have on active aging; international comparisons will also be made. That should provide us with a better understanding of public policy measures concerning the elderly and enable us to evaluate particular policy measures. We intend to study different types of public interventions and measures introduced in other countries in order to identify the most appropriate ones and to develop recommendations for the Russian economy.

Field of Application:

The research findings can be used by agencies responsible for policy planning (especially with respect to the elderly) when developing policy measures and normative acts in the field of population aging.