Dynamics of Economic Security Among the Aging in Mexico: 2001–2012

Deborah S. DeGraff, Rebeca Wong, Karina Orozco-Rocha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Similar to other developing countries, population aging in Mexico has accelerated, raising concerns that economic disparities will widen even more. We use data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study for 2001 and 2012 to derive measures of economic security—income and its sources, and wealth and its components—and describe how they changed over time and varied across key characteristics. The database is unique for a developing country: longitudinal and spanning a relatively long time period, and nationally representative of older persons (n = 12,400; ages 50+). We conduct descriptive analysis for the full sample, and for sub-samples defined by “safety net” indicators, health status, and demographic characteristics. Given that this time period included crucial economic and social changes in Mexico, we derive period results, measuring differences across time in two cross sections; and longitudinal results, capturing changes among individuals as they age. In-depth examination of income and wealth identifies important contributors to old-age economic security in Mexico; we confirm several expected patterns and provide first evidence about others. Older adults with low income and asset values in Mexico have less diverse income sources and asset types; real incomes of older persons decreased substantially, and their income and asset portfolios became less diverse over the period. With older age, Mexicans relied more heavily on transfers and family help, and less on earnings. Overall, limited safety net options and worse health conditions were associated with less robust and deteriorating economic profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-90
Number of pages32
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Aging
  • Economic security
  • Health
  • MHAS longitudinal data
  • Mexico
  • Safety nets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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