The Program Global Demography of Aging (PGDA) led by David E. Bloom will provide support to Harvard University faculty to carry out research on important themes related to aging and health - themes that cannot necessarily be encompassed within individual departments and schools. The themes of the Program will be: measurement of the global patterns of disease, mortality, and morbidity in aging populations;the social determinants of population health and aging;the economics of health care provision for the elderly;and the macroeconomic consequences of population aging. Each theme has established researchers, with significant experience, and promising researchers who can be nurtured. The Program has the potential to generate significant new research in the demography and economics of aging. Particular strengths of the Program are in the areas of: measuring risk factors and modeling the effect of inventions on population health, the role of social networks in determining health, the effects of incentives in Medicare on utilization, quality, and health outcomes, and the effects of demographic change and social security systems on labor supply, savings and economic growth. The Program will have four core activities: an administrative core, a program development core, an international network core, and a dissemination core. The administrative core will also assist with data protection and analysis through resources such as a restricted data enclave at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. The program development core will assist the development of new projects that contribute to our four themes. It will do this through financing pilot projects, helping fund postdoctoral research fellows and organizing internal research seminars and workshops where new projects can be developed. The leaders of each of the four themes will play an important role in mentoring and overseeing the development of new projects in their theme. The international network core will assist international field work on the demographic and economic implications of HIV/AIDS at the Africa Centre in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. It will also support collaboration between researchers from all four themes in a Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI), in partnership with the International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai, India. The dissemination core will make the results of Harvard's research accessible to researchers, policy makers, students and the public.
The themes of the Program address central issues in the demography and economics of aging and encompass many of the illustrative topics described in the request for applications. These issues are important to our understanding of the process of population aging and important for generating appropriate policy responses. The Program has a critical mass of high-quality faculty in each theme, at both the senior and junior level, to produce significant new research results and promote successful career development.
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