Title

Individual income and falls among the elderly in Latin America

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

4-1-2011

Journal

Geriatrics and Gerontology International

Volume

11

Issue

2

DOI

10.1111/j.1447-0594.2010.00662.x

Keywords

Elderly; Falls; Income; Latin America; Unintentional injury

Abstract

Aim: The burden of falls amongst the elderly raises important public health concerns. Empirical evidence suggests that macroeconomic growth may not be sufficient to reduce mortality and morbidity from injuries among the elderly. This paper consolidates macro- and microeconomic evidence of the effect of income on elderly falls in Latin America. Method: Using household databases, we estimate an empirical model to assess the relationship between income and falls. Results: The estimations indicate that an increase in personal income reduces the probability of falling; yet, the size of the effect is negligible. A 10% increase in income reduces the probability of falling between 0.001 and 0.002% while a 20% increase reduced the probability by up to 1%. Conclusion: These findings are consistent with macroeconomic data where morbidity and mortality among seniors are inelastic to economic growth. Policy implications of cash transfer programs targeting the elderly are discussed. © 2010 Japan Geriatrics Society.

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