Intentional age-misreporting, age-heaping, and the 1908 old age pensions act in Ireland*

John W. Budd, Timothy Guinnane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The United Kingdom’s Old Age Pensions Act of 1908 instituted means-tested, non-contributory pensions for men and women aged 70 or over. The pension and the lack of civil registration of births before 1864 caused many Irish to exaggerate their ages in the Census of 1911. In this paper a linked sample from the manuscript censuses of 1901 and 1911 is used to estimate the magnitude and determinants of this age misrepresentation. Our results show three types of age discrepancies: those associated with a significant reduction in age-heaping; those associated with efforts to obtain a pension before age 70; and some apparent age-exaggeration unconnected with the Old Age Pension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-518
Number of pages22
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 1991


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