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SPP 448

Author: Richard Rose
Description: A pension is not a person: along with human, emotional, social and economic capital it is one of a number of resources that older people have to meet needs for health and life satisfaction. This paper tests hypotheses about the relative importance of each resource, as well as national context, by multivariate statistical analysis of the European Quality of Life Survey with 7,418 respondents age 60 plus. Each resource registers some influence on health and life satisfaction, but pensions are not the most important economic resource. Within the final decades of life, ageing and other forms of emotional and human capital are more important. As for national context, how a country is governed has more influence than how much its state pension pays. The article concludes that increases in public expenditure can more efficiently promote wellbeing and reduce poverty through policies that are not age-restricted as are pensions.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland