Over the past 15 years, these connections have resulted in the elaboration and application of the cumulative advantage-disadvantage perspective in social gerontology, especially in relation to issues of … Gini Coefficients and Income Shares of Quintiles by Age Group. However, the high level of inequality they are already experiencing raises serious questions regarding the ability of those in the lowest two quintiles to absorb reductions without serious threat to income adequacy. T , & Smeeding T. (, Kuh However, they found income inequality was actually higher after age 65 than at any earlier age, with equalizing effects of Social Security more than outweighed by income from investments, pensions, and other sources. A. E. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) plays only a very limited role, accounting for 7.1% of income, whereas all other sources play only a modest role, with imputed asset income (primarily from home equity) at 12.3% of the total and wage and salary income at 5.4% of the total constituting the only other significant sources. Age and cumulative advantage/disadvantage theory have obvious logical, theoretical, and empirical connections, because both are inherently and irreducibly related to the passage of time. Dannefer, D. (2003), ‘ Cumulative advantage, disadvantage and the life course: cross-fertilizing age and social science theory ’, The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58: 6, 327 –37. However, age-specific impacts of growing inequality need to be better understood. For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription. For persons in the highest quintile, the proverbial three-legged stool of retirement income (Social Security, pensions, investments) appears strong. Differing retirement income systems can create quite different patterns of outcomes, as illustrated in the varied patterns of late-life inequality across nations (Crystal & Siegel, 2009; Siegel et al, 2009; Whitehouse & Disney, 2003). Thus, the paradigmatic view of the CA process in the gerontological literature was seen as “a logic of obdurate social tendencies… that are quite resistant to change.”. At both time points, inequality was not diminished after age 65, and indeed continued to be somewhat higher than in the prime working years of 35–54, although the differential was lower in 2010 than in the earlier period. Although their share of Social Security income declined to 14%, the lowest quintile nevertheless depended predominantly on Social Security, representing 65.5% of their income. Details are provided in the Supplementary Appendix. In a line of work beginning in the 1980s, Crystal and Shea utilized the term “cumulative advantage and cumulative disadvantage” to describe processes by which the effects of early economic, educational, and other advantages can cumulate over the life course (Crystal, 1986, 2006a, 2006b; Crystal & Shea, 1990a, 1990b, 2003b; Crystal, Shea, & Krishnaswami, … E The top quintile of elderly received increasing shares of most income sources. Results highlight the economic vulnerability of those in the lower part of the 2010 income distribution among the elderly, and their reliance on Social Security. , & Eirich G. M. (, Ferraro author = "Ferraro, {Kenneth F.} and Shippee, {Tetyana Pylypiv}". Inequality continued to increase within each cohort as it ages, with particularly steep increases among the Depression-era, war-baby, and leading-edge baby boomer cohorts. More recent cohorts have experienced declining job opportunities for less-educated workers; an increasingly services-oriented economy with fewer well-paying industrial jobs bearing good benefits; decreased family stability in lower-income social strata; and an increasing trend for higher-status men and women to marry one another, among other changes. The dip in Gini coefficients during prime working years was less prominent in 2010 than in 1983–1984, reflecting especially sharp increases in inequality within the working-age population. At ages 65+, the least well-off 40% shared only 14% of total adjusted income by 2010, suggesting that the “two worlds of aging” phenomenon (Crystal, 1982) persists, with even greater disparities between prosperous and penurious elderly. This approach recognizes that economic well-being differs considerably between two individuals with the same realized income but greatly different levels of assets, even if the individual does not choose to realize income from assets in a given year. Rather, its primary analytical task is to understand the relatively stable social processes that operate faithfully on each succeeding cohort” (Dannefer, 2003). (, Giudici These results are not, however, best understood as a simple story of CA as a stable life course phenomenon operating in the same fashion for each cohort. Establishing effective and equitable retirement income institutions is a central challenge for all developed societies. Gerontology is the study of the social, cultural, psychological, cognitive, and biological aspects of aging.The word was coined by Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov in 1903, from the Greek γέρων, geron, "old man" and -λογία, -logia, "study of". In hindsight, the four decades following the Second World War were a time of broader distribution of the benefits of economic growth than either earlier or later periods. Key themes include the influence of early advantages on later-life economic outcomes (the cumulative advantage/cumulative disadvantage hypothesis); the relationship between inequalities in economic status and inequalities in health status and access to … K. M. Figure 1 compares the Gini ratio for asset-adjusted household income for nine age groups in 1983–1984 and 2010. Tables 2 and 3 examine income trends by source, to shed light on factors driving change in income distribution. Aging and cumulative inequality: How does inequality get under the skin. M. Implications: Primary contributions of the theory to gerontology include greater attention to family lineage as a source of inequality; genes, gestation, and childhood as critical to early and enduring inequalities; the onset, duration, and magnitude of exposures to risk and opportunity; and constraints on generalizations arising from cohort-centric studies. . The increase in the share of wage and salary income going to the top quintile may reflect increasing salary disparity as well as increased opportunities for successful, well-educated individuals to continue well-compensated work past age 65. Although there is a slight misalignment at the edges of the age ranges, this provides a reasonable approximation for the cohort experience. E. N. However, its theoretical origins, connections, and implications are not widely understood. In contrast, cohorts aged 25–54 in 2010 (generally, trailing-edge baby boomers) experienced a very high-inequality economic environment throughout their adult life, beginning at younger ages. . SIPP provides a broad picture of developments in income distribution in the population, but capture of income and assets for those in the very top of the income distribution is likely incomplete, as with most other available survey data sets. , & Marmot M. (, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor Thus, there is a need to stretch the conventional CA paradigm beyond its traditional focus on within-cohort processes in the context of underlying stable life course dynamics and examine empirically evolving age patterns of economic inequality. , & Disney R. (, Wilkinson We adjusted for survey underreporting of some income and asset types, based on National Income Accounts and other independent estimates of national aggregates. The field is distinguished from geriatrics, which is the branch of medicine that specializes in the treatment of existing disease in older adults. The Gini coefficient measures the divergence of the income distribution from equality, on a scale from 0 (all individuals have equal income) to 1 (all income is received by one individual). Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved. , & Pallas A. M. (, Gonyea The pattern of overall outcomes emerges through the interaction of individual life course processes on the one hand, and economic and institutional environments and structures including retirement income systems on the other (Crystal, 1982; Crystal & Shea, 1990a; O’Rand, 1996; Riley and Riley, 1999). . There is a branch of sociology studying the concerns of the aged population and developing theories related to the aged population. Design and Methods: Five axioms of cumulative inequality (CI) theory are articulated to identify how life course trajectories are influenced by early and accumulated inequalities but can be modified by available resources, perceived trajectories, and human agency. Although Piketty and Saez addressed the overall population rather than specific age groups or cohorts, they and other scholars have convincingly demonstrated the overall increase in income inequality in the population at large. V. A. The stool for the lowest quintile has essentially has just one solid leg, Social Security. In the present analysis, we replicate Crystal and Shea’s analysis of 1983–1984 SIPP data with SIPP data from 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013), to examine how distribution of economic resources by age changed since the mid-1980s. S. Rather, they demonstrate features both of persistence and change. Cite this Concepts of cumulative advantage and disadvantage Essay Supplementary material can be found at: http://gerontologist.oxfordjournals.org. This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant R24HD041025. These included the National Income and Product Accounts, Internal Revenue Service and Survey of Consumer Finances asset estimates, and administrative data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. , &Riley J. W. (, Ross This study uses a life-course framework and data from the Health and Retirement Study and the Study of Assets and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest-Old to examine three hypotheses related to (dis)continuity in the effects of early-life disadvantage (African American race and low paternal education) and military service on later-life mortality. For example, Piketty (2014) and Saez (2013) used income tax data on the overall U.S. population to show that the income share of the bottom 90% was quite stable during the post–World War II period up to the early 1980s, and markedly greater than the pre-1940 period. In the United Kingdom, work by Kuh, Head, Hardy, and Wadsworth (1997) has shown that early educational achievement was strongly determinative of midlife earnings for women born in the early postwar period. Z. This group received 18.1% of its income from Social Security and 9.9% from pensions, with annuitized assets equivalent to 40% of adjusted income. (, Ferraro The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Over the past 15 years, these connections have resulted in the elaboration and application of the cumulative advantage–disadvantage perspective in social gerontology, especially in relation to issues of … Given the disparate health trajectories identified by studies in the CA tradition, lower-income quintiles would also likely be disproportionately affected by potential Medicare and other health care cost containment initiatives shifting costs and financial risks to patients, such as recurring proposals to move toward “defined-contribution” models. Cumulative disadvantage and health: Long-term consequences of obesity? U. Table 1 provides further detail on inequality across age groups and changes in inequality between 1983–1984 and 2010. M. W. In the United States, substantial and increasing shares of governmental resources are devoted to this goal. S cumulative disadvantage in gerontology is the pivotal role that reproduction plays in life course processes. Proposals to close the gap through revenue enhancements—for example, extending Social Security payroll taxes farther up the income scale—have met strong opposition. We examined inequality by age with Gini coefficients. Table 2 examines the proportion of each income source received by members of each quintile. R. G The bottom 40%’s share declined from 17% at ages 65–74 and 15% at ages 75+ to 14% in both age ranges, whereas the top quintile’s share increased from 46% to 48% for those aged 65–74 and from 47% to 50% for those 75+. After a slight dip in 2007–2009 during the recession, the trend to increased disparity resumed in 2010. For the lowest quintile, the proportion Hispanic doubled to 10% and the proportion with college education quadrupled, to 28%. Indeed, rather than attenuating over time, economic effects of early advantages are often magnified over the life course (Crystal, 1982; Crystal & Shea, 1990a; Crystal et al., 1992). Cohort inequality change, 1983–1984 to 2010. @article{9cafa0be621b44b7a849c2fd8cff3e5e. S. Note: SSI = Supplemental Security Income. Akincigil Although Social Security income is indeed more equally distributed than total income—thus exercising a moderately redistributional effect—high-income individuals nevertheless received more than twice the share of this source as the lowest quintile. E. , & Andreski P. M. (, Mohring J. The entire inequality curve shifted upward, with inequality higher at any given age in 2010 than in 1983–1984. Abstract. Note. (, O’Rand We investigate evolving age profiles of inequality, examining changes in inequality both after age 65 and across the age spectrum. Age and cumulative advantage/disadvantage theory have obvious logical, theoretical, and empirical connections, because both are inherently and irreducibly related to the passage of time. The applicability of CI theory to gerontology is illustrated in research on the early origins of adult health. Past longitudinal studies (e.g., Crystal & Waehrer, 1996) have documented the tendency toward increasing inequality within each cohort as it moves through the life course, similar to the pattern observed in our current results, suggesting that the high-inequality cohorts currently in midlife will likely experience further increases in inequality as they enter old age. (, Zimmer . The cumulative disadvantage theory is one such theory. As policy options to address these pressures are considered, it is important to bring to the debate a gerontologically informed perspective that takes account both of the CA processes leading to high late-life inequality, and the impact of economic changes that further exacerbate the challenges of inequality for current and upcoming cohorts of older people. Younger cohorts are also carrying more educational debt, even as college education has become a near-necessity (though far from a guarantee) for reaching the higher quintiles. , & Shea D. (, Crystal A. Retirement income policy debates have focused less on inequality than on effects of population aging on benefit programs. Principles of Pharmacotherapy of Seizures and Status Epilepticus. The applicability of CI theory to gerontology is illustrated in research on the early origins of adult health. Cumulative disadvantage posits that the aforementioned inequality between Blacks and Whites does not abruptly occur in later life but ultimately is a result of inequality in educational, healthcare, occupational, and other social experiences and opportunities across the life course (, Dannefer For each individual, we compute the sum of adjusted household income across sources, excluding asset-derived income (interest and dividends) to avoid double-counting with the annuitized value of assets component. As Figure 2 highlights, the cohorts constituting the elderly population in 2010 had experienced sharp life course increases in within-cohort inequality. R. F. (, Crystal In the United States, substantial and increasing shares of governmental resources are devoted to this goal. Schoeni Over the past 15 years, these connections have resulted in the elaboration and application of the cumulative advantage-disadvantage perspective in social gerontology, especially in relation to issues of heterogeneity and inequality. L. Does the variation in the socioeconomic characteristics of an area affect mortality? . SOC304 Gerontology Wk5Dq1 Cumulative Disadvantage Considering “The Theory of Cumulative Disadvantage,” how might you encourage success in retirement in a capitalist society? Gini ratios increased from 0.393 to 0.429 at ages 65–74, and from 0.415 to 0.446 for those 75+, strikingly high levels from a cross-national perspective (Whitehouse & Disney, 2003). . They critiqued that cumulative advantage/disadvantage theory lacked the essential elements they considered necessary to be a theory (Ferraro et al., 2009). Thus, the mid-1980s period examined by Crystal and Shea (1990a) appears to have been one in which the forces driving inequality were somewhat moderated. Cross-sectionally, the profile of inequality by age shifted upward, with a lower slope between the working and retirement years because of the very sharp increases in inequality experienced in the cohorts that will constitute the older population in coming decades. DiPrete and Eirich summarize recent sociological theorization formalizing, via alternative mathematical specifications, alternative forms of CA processes. In cross-sectional age comparisons, inequality increased further from the 65–74 to the 75+ age group. Establishing effective and equitable retirement income institutions is a central challenge for all developed societies. Sport Specialization and Low Bone Mineral Density in Female High School Distance Runners. The proportion divorced more than doubled, to 17%. From 1999 to 2010, suicide rates for adults aged 35–64 increased by 28.4%, while remaining stable for other age groups (CDC, 2013). In a line of work beginning in the 1980s, Crystal and Shea utilized the term “cumulative advantage and cumulative disadvantage” to describe processes by which the effects of early economic, educational, and other advantages can cumulate over the life course (Crystal, 1986, 2006a, 2006b; Crystal & Shea, 1990a, 1990b, 2003b; Crystal, Shea, & Krishnaswami, 1992; Crystal & Waehrer, 1996). We utilized Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) data to compare economic inequality across age groups for 2010 versus 1983–1984. Implications: Primary contributions of the theory to gerontology include greater attention to family lineage as a source of inequality; genes, gestation, and childhood as critical to early and enduring inequalities; the onset, duration, and magnitude of exposures to risk and opportunity; and constraints on generalizations arising from cohort-centric studies.". Among those aged 65+, we examine percentage of each income source received by each quintile as well as the profile of each quintile’s income by source, and the changing demographic profiles of the lowest and highest quintile. , & Mohring K. (, Ben-Shalom, Y., Moffitt, R. A., & Scholz, J. K. (, Ben-Shlomo Bennett This highlights the need to take social change into account in understanding CA processes, and in evaluating public policies’ roles in buffering market forces. D. Table 3 shows the share of the overall income stream provided by each source in 2010, by quintile. Total household income, excluding asset-derived income, and including the annuity of wealth, is then adjusted for household size using the equivalency scales implicit in federal poverty lines (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Results: Although the concept of CI has attracted considerable attention among social scientists, it holds promise for integrating additional disciplinary approaches to the study of aging including, but not limited to, biology, epidemiology, and immunology. Design and Methods: Five axioms of cumulative inequality (CI) theory are articulated to identify how life course trajectories are influenced by early and accumulated inequalities but can be modified by available resources, perceived trajectories, and human agency. , & Rogers R. G. (, Piketty (, Pampel , & Shippee T. P. (, Ferraro These include Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance (projected at $772 billion in 2016, about 19% of federal spending and 4.1% of GDP) and other pension payments (Congressional Budget Office, 2015). The complementary lens of a cohort perspective provides further insight. E. N A. M R. Results: Although the concept of CI has attracted considerable attention among social scientists, it holds promise for integrating additional disciplinary approaches to the study of aging including, but not limited to, biology, epidemiology, and immunology. Implications: Primary contributions of the theory to gerontology include greater attention to family lineage as a source of inequality; genes, gestation, and childhood as critical to early and enduring inequalities; the onset, duration, and magnitude of exposures to risk and opportunity; and constraints on generalizations arising from cohort-centric studies.
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