Productive aging in India
Date of Issue2019
School of Social Sciences
With its sociocultural, institutional, and demographic contexts, India offers a unique opportunity to study the dynamics and experiences of aging, especially as it is poised to have a large increase in the number of persons aged 60 and above in the next half a century. In this paper, we focus on the concept of productive aging that emphasizes the active participation of older persons in society. We examine the correlates of productive aging in India, drawing on data from the Building Knowledge Base on Population Aging (BKPAI) survey of 9852 men and women aged 60 years and above in seven states of India in 2011. The productive activities that we examine pertain to four domains: work, contribution to household financial matters, grandparenting, and social engagement. The findings highlight the importance of gender, family structure, and socio-economic status in these different aspects of productive aging. Importantly, the findings show that the effect of the correlates is not the same across the different measures of productive aging. We find that women are less likely than men to engage in all productive activities except for grandparenting, and that living with children and adverse health reduce the likelihood of current employment or financial contributions, but not of social engagement or grandparenting. Greater wealth at older ages reduces the likelihood of employment but increases the likelihood of social engagement and ties. The study contributes to the understanding of opportunities and constraints of productive aging in India and has implications for intergenerational relationships, support and dependencies in old age.
Social Science & Medicine
© 2019 Elsevier. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Social Science & Medicine and is made available with permission of Elsevier.