Changes in Human Wealth Span

By: Zofia Szweda Lewandowska  

The change in the demographic structure has become one of the fundamental challenges not only for the welfare state and the primary vehicle for the discussion about a new distribution of social spending between age groups but also for individuals. The human wealth span is a model of accumulation and consumption of resources over one’s life. According to this model, the human life span consists of two major stages: wealth accumulation and expenditure. Capital is accumulated in young and middle age, and is then consumed in retirement, when individuals no longer work. Furthermore, it should be noted that wealth span patterns evolve with social and cultural changes and differ between generations. Currently, individuals tend to enter the labor market later in life and leave it earlier, which influences their ability to accumulate capital and the time over which they will be utilizing it. Due to improving healthy life expectancy, the division of the human wealth span into the accumulation stage and expenditure stage should be verified, especially in view of their increasing complexity. Another aspect that becomes increasingly relevant to the accumulation stage is the need to prepare for longevity. The objective of the present project is to compare different age cohorts in terms of time when they entered the labor market and when they retired; and consider how different age cohorts and governments prepare for increasing longevity.

Human Wealth Span, Longevity, Welfare State
Public Policy and Public Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Zofia Szweda Lewandowska

Warsaw School of Economics, Poland