The long-run substantive aim of this project is to combine sophisticated objective health measurements with economic and social data on an international scale in order to better understand how health outcomes in older ages are related to the economic and social policy environment. Specifically, the project will explore whether and how methodological innovations in measuring health in large-scale population surveys, which have been made by the Irish TILDA study, can be usefully employed by the growing set of internationally comparable aging surveys, including the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The Irish TILDA study has developed a set of innovative health assessments using hi-tech instruments and analytic methods. In parallel, the Irish branch of SHARE has collected one wave of data in 2007 that is strictly comparable to the other 19 SHARE countries and is currently in the process of collecting life histories in that same sample covering the health, employment, earnings and family history from childhood to today. The core technical outcome of the proposed project will be a state-of-the-art survey instrument with the potential of being widely applicable to other aging surveys. This will be achieved by five integrated sets of activities: 1. Sending all Irish SHARE sample members to the TILDA health assessment centers or applying the in-home health assessment procedures developed by TILDA;2. Exploring which selected set of portable TILDA health assessments is most suitable for application in other SHARE countries;3. Merging the Irish SHARE sample data obtained from the TILDA health assessments, the life- histories, and the first wave into an unprecedentedly rich dataset;4. Ensuring much closer alignment in future waves of SHARE-Ireland and TILDA by harmonizing the two survey instruments in the socio-economic fields;5. Exploring the usefulness of such merged data in an analysis of health changes stratified by type and extent of financial losses in the wake of the 2008/09 financial crisis. The project team brings together a number of recognized experts in the fields of economics, survey methods and geriatric medicine in three institutions. The proposed research design will provide important insights, both methodological and substantive, for all countries, including the US and UK, concerned with understanding the implications of population aging.
The long-run substantive aim of this project is to combine sophisticated objective health measurements with economic and social data on an international scale in order to better understand how health outcomes in older ages are related to the economic and social policy environment.