Perceived income adequacy among older adults: Issues of conceptualization and measurement, with an analysis of data

Lawrence E. Hazelrigg, Melissa Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several scholars have argued that because of problems associated with the use of a uniform 'objective' standard in assessments of well-being, more attention should be given to persons' own judgments of well-being. This article develops a conceptual mapping of processes involved in judgments of income adequacy and then tests a number of derived hypotheses with data from a probability sample of older adults. The results indicate that relative standing as well as health status, household size, and level of income have independent effects on judgments of income adequacy; that income is endogenous to the judgment process; that effects of demographic variables and labor supply are sensitive to that endogeneity; and that as older adults age, they tend to discount needs relative to available income. Even under conditions of poverty, there is a strong bias toward positive judgments of adequacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-107
Number of pages39
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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