The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has organized and hosted an annual Cohort Studies Working Group meeting, Life Course Events in Aging, every year since 2002, with partial support from NIA since 2010. The workshops have brought together roughly 30 to 60 scholars with a common interest in the role of cumulative exposures in aging-related outcomes;and in understanding how the economic, institutional, and demographic context has changed for different cohorts and for different racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic groups within cohorts. This application proposes to extend NIA support for this annual workshop for five additional years, from 2015 to 2019, with meetings alternating between the NBER's main offices in Cambridge, MA and the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. NIA funds enable us to include in the workshop a larger and more inclusive participant group than would be possible with NBER resources alone. This larger group includes scholars engaged in aging-related research from numerous research universities throughout the United States, including most of the NIA-supported demography centers. It also includes researchers from other countries;researchers in academic disciplines other than economics (sociology, demography, epidemiology, clinical medicine, psychology, and public health);newer investigators developing or expanding their research agenda in aging;researchers with expertise in birth cohort or other long-term longitudinal studies in the US and abroad;and researchers developing new methodological tools for the study of longitudinal data sets. The funding requested from NIA will continue to supplement other NBER resources to support basic travel and accommodation expenses for workshop participants. This support is provided on the same basis for all participants, including both paper presenters and other attendees, engaging some of the most prominent scholars in the field in the activities of the workshop, regardless of whether they are presenting papers formally. All organizational costs of the workshop, all meeting expenses, and all group meals are covered with other NBER funds. By bringing together researchers from different fields, the Cohort Studies meetings provide opportunities for interaction and collaborative research across disciplines, potentially influencin the way they work. Researchers learn not just about new datasets, methodologies, and questions in life course events, but also have the opportunity for in-depth interactions with scholars from outside their field.
Understanding the role of life course events in aging has implications for public health investments. The proposed annual meetings will bring together researchers from different fields and provide opportunities for in-depth interactions;collaborativ research;and exposure to new datasets, methodologies, and research questions.