The Program the Global Demography of Aging at Harvard University (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 six 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;the economics of aging;migration and aging;and HIV/AIDS and 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 through, for example, new longitudinal studies of aging and intervention studies that can identify policy-relevant causal effects. Particular strengths of the Program are in 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, care quality, and health outcomes;behavioral and experimental economic approaches to explaining individual choices;the macroeconomic effects of population aging;the role of HIV on aging in Africa;and the economic and health effects of migration in the United States. The Program will have five Core activities: an administrative and research support Core, a program development Core, an external innovative network Core, a dissemination Core, and a statistical data enclave Core. The administrative Core will provide leadership and oversight for the Program's activities. The program development Core will support pilot projects that will lead to new research initiatives that contribute to our six themes. The international network Core will provide links to six overseas institutions to provide a platform for international field work, particularly in supporting existin longitudinal studies and developing new longitudinal studies and intervention studies of aging. The dissemination Core will make the results of Harvard's research accessible to researchers, policy makers, students and the public. The data enclave Core will assist with data protection and analysis through resources such as a restricted data enclave.
Aging is an interconnected global phenomenon and our global approach will, firstly, increase our understanding of the processes of aging in terms of the determinants of healthy aging and the economic implications of population aging. Secondly, our research is aimed at providing high-quality evidence on the effects of interventions to improve both the health of the elderly and the economic wellbeing of older people as the population ages. This evidence base will be highly relevant to policy debates.
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