The Economic Benefits of a More Physically Active Population: An International Analysis

The Economic Benefits of a More Physically Active Population: An International Analysis. RAND Corporation.  Marco Hafner et al. November 5, 2019.

It is estimated that about 30 per cent of the global population is considered to be physically inactive. Such inactivity is of high concern when the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity are well established, and that research shows that regular physical activity is associated with lower onset rates of a range of disease conditions. Research also illuminates the stark fact that physical inactivity is associated with more than 5 million deaths every year. With the global rates of physical activity diminishing, and the associated costs to humankind increasing as a result, the insidious and dangerous nature of such global inactivity is becoming increasingly exposed.

In recognition of this, and in order to explore how these high levels of physical inactivity drive cost in economies, the Vitality Group asked RAND Europe to conduct an economic analysis of the potential economic benefits associated with getting people to be more physically active. Using a multi-country computable general equilibrium (CGE) macroeconomic model, RAND Europe examined the potential global implications of insufficient physical activity and changes of physical activity levels at the population level across different countries. The overarching aim of the study was to explore the main economic costs of physical inactivity and to identify the key benefits to improving activity rates. By presenting this data via the three modelled scenarios, the consequence of higher inactivity compared to improved activity rates may be better understood. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 189 pages].

From Saving to Spending: A Proposal to Convert Retirement Account Balances into Automatic and Flexible Income

From Saving to Spending: A Proposal to Convert Retirement Account Balances into Automatic and Flexible Income. Brookings Institution. David C. John et al. July 31, 2019

Converting retirement savings balances into a stream of retirement income is one of the most difficult financial decisions that households need to make. New financial products, however, offer people alternative ways to receive retirement income. We propose a default decumulation solution that could be added to retirement plans to simplify decumulation choices in much the same way that automatic choices have simplified enrollment, contribution, and investment allocation decisions for millions of savers. Our proposal centers on pooled investment accounts known as managed payout funds that deliver monthly income that is likely, though not guaranteed, to last a lifetime. Coupled with longevity annuities that begin to make payments when the owner reaches an advanced age and a separate fund for emergencies and extraordinary payments, managed payout funds could help protect retirees from longevity risk without unduly reducing their current living standards. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 27 pages].

States of Change: How Demographic Change is Transforming the Republican and Democratic Parties

States of Change: How Demographic Change is Transforming the Republican and Democratic Parties. Brookings Institution. Rob Griffin, William H. Frey, and Ruy Teixeira. July 1, 2019

Demographics are not destiny, but steady and predictable changes to the electorate play an important role in defining the landscape of American politics. Most demographic groups have a political lean, so a group increasing or decreasing in size over time will tend to benefit one party or type of politics over another. The most well-known example is the growth of the nonwhite population in the United States, which—since nonwhites tend to lean heavily Democratic—is typically viewed as tilting the electoral terrain somewhat toward the Democrats over time as well as increasing the weight of nonwhite voters within the Democratic Party over time. But other changes are important, such as the decline of noncollege educated voters, particularly whites; the aging of the adult population; and the rise of new generations to replace older ones.

In this report, the authors will explore the effect of these changes on the demographic composition of the electorate and, especially, on the composition of the two major political parties. Reflecting the latter focus, this analysis will not focus on how many individuals from a given demographic group voted or will likely vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in a particular election. Rather, it focuses on how many people who voted or are likely to vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in a particular election belong to a given demographic group. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 53 pages].

Why Governments Count People

Why Governments Count People. YaleGlobal. Joseph Chamie. March 19, 2019

Governments have organized censuses since ancient times, and as the world’s population approaches 8 billion, governments have more people to count and analyze than ever before. Censuses help determine efficient allocation of government funds and political representation. A low median age suggests the government should devote more funding to education and an older median age suggests more resources should go toward elder services. Methods and access to the data remain controversial, explains demographer Joseph Chamie. Censuses expose flaws, whether income disparity, gender imbalances or even the influences of climate change and lack of sustainability. Political parties in power can manipulate perceptions and results with insertion or deletion of a single question. “Inaccuracies or outright lies defeat the purpose of the census and disrupt effective governing and meaningful planning,” he writes. “So every question should have a legitimate public purpose to promote well-being and reduce problems.” Chamie outlines how concerns about confidentiality or diversity can erode accuracy even as globalization of communications and travel reinforce citizen demands for smooth government operations and services. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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How Migration of Millennials and Seniors Has Shifted since the Great Recession

How migration of millennials and seniors has shifted since the Great Recession. Brookings Institution. William H. Frey. January 31, 2019

Migration across the United States has shifted noticeably since the 2007-2009 Great Recession with many areas hoping to attract members of two huge generations: the young adult millennial generation and the increasingly graying baby boomers. Millennials, a highly educated and diverse generation now squarely in their late 20s and 30s, are forming the backbone of various regions’ emerging labor forces and consumer bases. Baby boomers, now all aged 55 and above, can reinvigorate communities that retain or attract their more affluent members. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Why rural America needs cities

Why rural America needs cities. Brookings Institution. Nathan Arnosti and Amy Liu. November 30, 2018

The 2018 midterm elections affirmed that the deep geographic divides within the United States are here to stay. As they did in 2016, Americans living in rural areas overwhelmingly backed Republican candidates, fueled in part by the sense that the American economy is leaving them behind. The plight of rural America, and ideas for its economic revival, continues to animate policy discussions, including among Democrats concerned about their ability to appeal to blue-collar voters. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

How Should Social Security Adjust When People Live Longer?

How Should Social Security Adjust When People Live Longer? Urban Institute. C. Eugene Steuerle, Damir Cosic. August 20, 2018

 As people live longer, they spend more time in retirement, straining Social Security’s finances. This brief outlines the implications of three approaches to adjusting Social Security for longer lives: making no adjustment, which has applied over most of Social Security’s history; keeping constant the expected number of retirement years; and keeping constant the relative share of life in retirement. Compared to age 65 retirement in 1940, people under each rule would retire in 2100 at age 65, 79, and 76, respectively. The brief also shows how these calculations can be done under different assumptions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 6 pages].