Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population


Vol. 1 No. 3

Autumn 1999

SEDAP (Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population) is a multidisciplinary research program studying a wide range of aging-related issues and is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. SEDAP is centred at McMaster University and involves researchers from that institution as well as from the University of British Columbia, Université de Montréal, Queen's and the University of Toronto.

I. SEDAP Workshop

Under the sponsorship of Finance Canada and of Human Resources Development Canada, SEDAP is presenting a workshop on "Retirement in Canada: Labour Supply and Saving Behaviour", to take place November 5, 1999 at McMaster University.

The papers to be presented at the workshop will be of a technical nature and thus the workshop is not intended for a general audience. However, interested researchers should contact the organizer Prof. Mike Veall (905 525-9140 x23829, by October 18, 1999 to enquire about participation. A tentative program is given below.

SEDAP Workshop: November 5, 1999

II. Visit of Professor Malcolm Johnson

SEDAP, in conjunction with McMaster University's H.L. Hooker Endowment Fund, the Centre for Gerontological Studies, the School of Social Work, the McMaster University Aging and Health Network and the McLaughlin Research Foundation, is sponsoring a three-day visit to McMaster by Professor Malcolm Johnson. Professor Johnson is a professor of Health and Social Policy and the director of the International Institute on Health and Ageing at the University of Bristol, England. He has written extensively in the areas of aging, illness, nutrition and community care.

Professor Johnson will be at McMaster November 9-11, 1999. During his visit, he will meet in a number of informal sessions with students and faculty members and will present three public lectures:

Everyone is cordially invited to attend these lectures. For further information, please contact Gail Elliot at the McMaster Centre for Gerontological Studies, (905 525-9140 x24449,

III. SEDAP Research Papers

SEDAP Research Papers are available on the SEDAP website ( at no cost. A paper copy may be obtained for a nominal charge. Please contact Mrs. Gail Kalika, Department of Economics, KTH-426, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., Canada, L8S 4M4.

SEDAP Research Paper No. 6:

Transitions to Retirement: Determinants of Age of Social Security Take Up

Emile Tompa (Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, Ontario)

Formerly not available until age 65, amendments to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in 1987 allowed retirement benefits to be claimed as early as age 60, with reduced benefit rates for early take up. In this paper, Tompa investigates the sociodemographic, health and labour-market characteristics of individuals who exit the workforce to take up CPP benefits (either retirement or disability) prior to age 65.

The dataset used in this study is Statistics Canada's Longitudinal Administrative Databank (LAD), which is a random sample of Canadian taxfilers. Once a taxfiler is selected for the LAD, that person (along with spouse and children, if applicable) remains in the dataset for as long as he/she continues to file an income tax return. Thus it is possible to follow individuals and their families over time.

Data available on taxfilers consist of all data provided by the filers on their Revenue Canada personal income tax returns. Tompa notes that there are some limitations imposed on this study by the LAD. In particular, there are no data available on a taxfiler's level of education or amount of accumulated savings, two factors which are likely very important in the age-of-retirement decision.

Among Tompa's principal findings are:

SEDAP Research Paper No. 7:

Health and Individual and Community Characteristics: A Research Protocol

François Béland (Health Administration, Université de Montréal), Steve Birch (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster) and Greg Stoddart (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster)

The presence of systematic and persistent variations in health among populations has been associated recently with increased attention by researchers to the development of broader conceptual frameworks for explaining the production and distribution of health within populations. The main purpose of this working paper is to outline procedures to examine the contribution of the community environment to changes in the physical and mental health of individuals.

The authors discuss the types of data required for such research: individual-level data and contextual-level data. Data on individual health states, personal and social sources of stress, financial, cultural, social and interpersonal resources, psychosocial characteristics and health behaviours are found in the 1994 and 1996 National Population Health Survey from Statistics Canada. Contextual-level data are census data linked to individuals through census tracts, and would include for each tract:

The authors conclude by outlining a six-step data analysis process which would estimate the effects on indicators of health status of the individual-level and contextual-level variables.

editor: Deb Fretz -
Return to SEDAP Home Page.
Last revised: Oct 13, 1999.