Wellbeing of the Elderly in East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan

A PSC Brown Bag Seminar

Jinkook Lee (University of Southern California)

Monday, 4/6/2015.   ARCHIVED EVENT

Location: 6050 ISR Thompson St

As a result of decreasing fertility and increasing life expectancy, the elderly proportion of the population and the old-age dependency ratio are both rising across all countries in East Asia, particularly in China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan. Public pension schemes are not sufficient to provide old-age income support in China and Korea, even as the value of filial piety fades. And despite incredible economic growth, several indicators, such as happiness and suicide rates, suggest that elderly wellbeing in these three countries is not very good. We empirically investigate wellbeing of the elderly in China, Korea, and Japan using comparable data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, the Korean Longitudinal Study on Aging, and the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement. Specifically, we examine age gradients for depressive symptoms, controlling for demographics, economic variables, family and social variables, and health variables.


Jinkook Lee is a senior economist at the Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, University of Southern California and at the RAND Corporation. Before joining USC, she was a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the Ohio State University, and the University of Georgia, Athens. She has also held visiting positions at the Federal Reserve Board and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Currently, she directs the Center for Global Aging Research at USC. She is a co-principal investigator of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Government of India. She also leads an international data harmonization project funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Gateway to Global Aging Data (g2aging.org), a platform for population survey data on aging from 26 countries around the world. Her current research interests include late-life cognition and dementia, determinants of late-life subjective well-being, and the socioeconomic gradients of metabolic syndrome. She received her Ph.D. in family economics from the Ohio State University and her Bachelor of Science from Seoul National University.

PSC Brown Bag seminars highlight recent research in population studies and serve as a focal point for building our research community. PSC Brown Bag Archive.

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