Economics of Ageing

Subject POPH90258 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Term 2, Parkville - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start 04-Apr-2016
Teaching Period 11-Apr-2016 to 05-Jun-2016
Assessment Period End 10-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Apr-2016
Census Date 29-Apr-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 20-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website.


Prof Ian Mcdonald


Melbourne School of Population and Global Health


Currently enrolled students:

Future Students:

Subject Overview:

The subject examines the influence of private and public/government decision-making on the economic well-being of older people. These decisions include private decisions to prepare for old-age and to live through old-age by saving and managing assets such as housing, superannuation, annuities and other assets and government decisions to provide income support, health care and regulations that aim to protect old people. The influence of behavioural biases, as uncovered by behavioural economics, will be discussed. The subject also covers how an ageing population exerts upward pressure on the taxation required to finance government activities and services for the aged and how this may affect the ‘social contract’, in which the young assist the old in expectation of assistance when they are old from succeeding generations.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • Analyse how people can make rational decisions to prepare for and live through old age/retirement.
  • Critically evaluate government policies that address the economic implications of population ageing, including health, disability, housing and employment.
  • Recognise and assess the impact of the prospective fiscal pressure from an ageing population on the future of the welfare state.
  • Develop an evidence-based argument outlining a set of recommendations for an economic policy.

  • Weekly contributions to Online Discussions (10%)
  • Four online Quizzes each worth 5% at approximately two-week intervals (20%)
  • A 1,500 word assignment that involves collecting information and performing critical analysis to support an evidence-based argument due Mid Term (20%)
  • A final open-book examination at the end of Term (50%)

Prescribed Texts:

Students will have access to electronic copies of relevant readings.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students will be provided with the opportunity to practice and reinforce:

  • Develop comparative policy analysis and research skills.
  • High level written communication skills.
  • Create and advance persuasive arguments on a given topic.
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills.
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Ageing
Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation Science
Graduate Diploma in Ageing
Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Science
Master of Advanced Nursing
Master of Ageing
Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration (Enhanced)
Master of Public Health
Master of Rehabilitation Science
Specialist Certificate in Ageing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
150 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 Point Master of Public Policy and Management

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