Multidimensional concepts such as “productive ageing” are popular in ageing research, but measuring them is difficult. Ideally, a composite measure of productive ageing should aggregate indicators of various productive activities into a single scale while reflecting their relative importance towards the concept. However, the value assigned to each activity may differ across researchers and contexts. We propose a method for the generation of composite scales based on a conjoint experiment on experts, and apply it to the measurement of productive ageing in Italy and South Korea. The method generates highly reliable scales, and performs well compared to data-driven approaches for weighting and aggregation. We assess systematic differences in the operationalisation of productive ageing between a group of Italian and a group of Korean academics by constructing separate scales for each expert and by country of origin. The results suggest that socio-cultural factors influence academics’ definitions and operationalisations of later-life productivity.
Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging