The home health care sector in Canada experienced major restructuring in the mid-1990s creating a variety of flexibilities for organizations and insecurities for workers. This paper examines the emotional and physical health consequences of employer flexibilities and worker insecurities on home health care workers. For emotional health the focus is on stress and for physical health the focus is on selfreported musculoskeletal disorders. Data come from our survey of home health care workers in a mid-sized city in Ontario, Canada. Data are analyzed separately for 990 visiting and 300 office workers.
For visiting workers, results showed that none of the ‘objective’ flexibility/insecurity measures are associated with stress or musculoskeletal disorders controlling for other factors. However, ‘subjective’ flexibility/insecurity factors, i.e. feelings of job insecurity and labour market insecurity, are significantly and positively associated with stress. When stress is included in the analysis, for visiting workers stress mediates the effects of ‘subjective’ flexibility/insecurity with musculoskeletal disorders. For office workers, none of the objective flexibility/insecurity factors are associated with stress but subjective flexibility/insecurity factor of feelings of job insecurity is positively and significantly associated with stress. For office home care workers, work on call is negatively and significantly associated with musculoskeletal disorders. Feeling job insecurity is mediated through stress in affecting musculoskeletal disorders. Feeling labour market insecurity is significantly and positively associated with musculoskeletal disorders for office home care workers. Decision-makers in home care field are recommended to pay attention to insecurities felt by workers to reduce occupational health problems of stress and musculoskeletal disorders.
Community support services (CSSs) enable persons coping with health or social problems to maintain the highest possible level of social functioning and quality of life. Access to these services is challenging because of the multiplicity of small agencies providing these services and the lack of a central access point. A review of the literature revealed that most service awareness studies are marred by acquiescence bias. To address this issue, service providers developed a series of 12 vignettes to describe common situations faced by older adults for which CSSs might be appropriate. In a telephone interview, 1152 older adults were presented with a series of vignettes and asked what they would do in that situation. They were also asked about their most important sources of information about CSSs. Findings show awareness of CSSs varied by the situation described and ranged from a low of 1% to 41%. The most important sources of information about CSSs included informational and referral sources, the telephone book, doctor’s offices, and through word of mouth.
Identifying the effect of differential taxation on portfolio allocation requires exogenous variation in marginal tax rates. Marginal tax rates vary with income, but income surely affects portfolio choice directly. In systems of individual taxation – like Canada’s – couples with the same household income can face different effective tax rates on capital income when labor income is distributed differently within households. Using this source of variation we find statistically significant but economically modest responses to taxation. In a “placebo” test, using data from the U.S. (which has joint taxation), we find no effect of the intra-household distribution of labor income on portfolios.
We construct cohort working life tables for Canadian men and women aged 50 and older and, for comparison, corresponding period tables. The tables are derived using annual single age time series of participation rates for 1976-2006 from the master files of the Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey. The cohort calculations are based on stochastic projections of mortality coupled with alternative assumptions about future participation rates. Separate tables are provided for the years 1976, 1991, and 2006, thus spanning a period of substantial gains in life expectancy and strong upward trends in female participation.
The Expert Panel on Older Workers made recommendations designed to increase the labour force participation of older workers. We explore the implications that higher rates of older-worker participation would have for the overall size and age composition of the labour force, for the productive capacity of the economy, and for the incomes of Canadians. Our purpose is to assess the potential impact that increased participation of older workers might have in offsetting any anticipated adverse effects of population aging on standards of living.
If retirement means a substantial and sustained reduction in the time spent working for pay or profit, measurement requires a definition of substantial and sufficient observations of the same individuals to determine whether a transition from “working” to “retired” status has occurred. Using the Statistics Canada Longitudinal Administrative Databank, a 20 percent sample of the individual income tax returns of all tax filers since 1980, we identify those with significant labour force attachment at ages 50-52, and follow them year by year. If retired means having no income from employment, the median age of retirement is about 63 for men, 62 for women. That is true for all cohorts. If earning up to half of one’s previous employment income is deemed consistent with being retired, the median age is about 60 for both men and women. Results obtained in this way are consistent with calculations based on Labour Force Survey data.
Since the prevalence of many chronic health conditions increases with age we might anticipate that as the population ages the proportion with one or more such conditions would rise, as would the cost of treatment. We ask three questions: How much would the overall prevalence of chronic conditions increase in a quarter century if age-specific rates of prevalence did not change? How much would the requirements for health care resources increase in those circumstances? How much difference would it make to those requirements if people had fewer chronic conditions? We conclude that the overall prevalence rates for almost all conditions associated mostly with old age would rise by more than 25 percent and that health care requirements would grow more rapidly than the population – more than twice as rapidly in the case of hospital stays – if the rates for each age group remained constant. We conclude also that even modest reductions in the average number of conditions at each age could result in substantial savings.
We analyse a large longitudinal data file to determine who has retired and to assess how
successful they are in maintaining their incomes after retirement. Our main conclusions are
as follows. First, in the two years immediately after retirement the after-tax income
replacement ratios average about two-thirds when calculated across all ages of retirement.
Second, the ratios tend to increase with the age of retirement. Third, the ratios increase
with years in retirement, at least in the first few years. Finally, income replacement ratios
are highest in the lowest income quartile and generally decline as income increases; within
each quartile the replacement ratios are higher for those who retired later than for those