This project will conduct several comparative studies between England and the United States. These studies will include understanding the dual pathways SES and health in both countries, the impact of the recent financial crisis to determine if there are asymmetric effects on health and other outcomes in these countries, the effects of institutional constraints in both countries in the housing and medical care market at older ages on paths and composifion of household consumpfion decisions, and the influence of cognition of both spouses on key health transiflons of both partners. The pathway from SES to health will be explored by examining whether and why future onset of new chronic physical and mental health condiflons using both self-reports and biomarkers of disease are related to key SES markers-levels of household income, wealth, and education-once one conditions on pre-existing demographic and health conditions. We will examine the extent to which 'innovations'in economic status affect health. This sub-project will focus on the impact of the recent flnancial crisis to test whether there are important asymmetric effects on health and other outcomes in these countries. We will examine the effects of institutional constraints in both countries in the housing and medical care market at older ages on paths of household consumption decisions and on the composition of those consumption decisions. Finally, we will explore the influence of cognition of both spouses on the health transitions of both partners. Especially at older ages, these decisions can be quite cogniflvely demanding and a variety of cognitive skills of both partners may come into play. In some spheres, such as health outcomes like mortality and health behaviors like adherence the cognitive skills of both spouses may important. In particular, the cognitive ability of a spouse may compensate for any negative health consequences of a decline in the cognitive ability of the other spouse. Throughout, we will use data from the HRS and ELSA, complemented by the best consumption surveys in both countries.

Public Health Relevance

Internaflonal comparaflve studies are an important analytical tool to uncover the driving forces that lead to differences among the elderty in seemingly common Western industrialized countries is some of the most criflcal outcomes ofthe elderty, including their levels and paths of wealth, health, mortality, consumpflon, and cogniflon at middle and older ages. England and the United States have been at the forefront of those comparative studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-3 (01))
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Rand Corporation
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