Health outcomes of social pension expansion: A quasi-experiment among older adults in Hong Kong

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Abstract

A social pension, regarded as a reliable source of income, has the potential to significantly influence the overall wellbeing of vulnerable older adults. This study aimed to extend the understanding of the effects of social pension expansion beyond its economic impacts to encompass recipients’ health status. Using three-wave data from a representative sample of older adults, we employed a quasi-experimental assessment model to evaluate the impact of a recent social pension expansion in Hong Kong on health-related consumption and health outcomes among older adults. The results of the triple difference estimations revealed that an increased social pension significantly enhanced older people’s engagement in entertainment activities, utilization of healthcare services, and expenditures on preventive health products. Furthermore, the increased social pension was found to have a significant positive effect on mitigating poor self-rated health and poor sleep quality. However, it did not have a significant impact on the prevalence of depression. These findings suggest that social pension expansion should be coordinated with other policy initiatives to comprehensively improve the physical and mental health of older adults. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Early online dateAug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2023

Citation

Zhu, A. Y. F., & Chou, K. L. (2023). Health outcomes of social pension expansion: A quasi-experiment among older adults in Hong Kong. Journal of Applied Gerontology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/07334648231195493

Keywords

  • Social pension expansion
  • Entertainment
  • Healthcare services
  • Health products
  • Physical health
  • Mental health

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