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Preparing for an Aging World

The Case for Cross-National Research


Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-10: 0-309-07421-5ISBN-10: 0-309-50281-0


As we move through the 21st century, countries around the world are apt to face slower growth (or even contraction) of the workforce, rapid increases in the over-65 and especially the over-80 population, potentially larger numbers of disabled persons and greater demand on health care systems, and the increase in poverty likely to accompany rising numbers of widows. Many countries are now in the early stages of adapting to their changing population age structures. Since current and prospective policy responses are likely to differ among countries, a number of natural experiments are, or shortly will be, under way, enabling countries to learn from each other's experience. To take advantage of this opportunity, the U.S. National Institute on Aging asked the National Academies, through its National Research Council, to convene a panel that would provide recommendations for an international research agenda and for the types of data needed to implement that agenda in the context of rapid demographic change.

Major Recommendations:

This study focuses on five domains of research: work and retirement, savings and wealth, family structure and intergenerational transfers, health and disability, and well-being. Recommendations specific to each of these topics are included in the respective report chapters. The panel also developed six major, overarching recommendations that it believes are essential to effective cross-national research and to the generation of policy-relevant data.


This study was funded primarily by NIH Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additional funding was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Suggested citation:

National Research Council (2001) Preparing for an Aging World: The Case for Cross-National Research, Panel on a Research Agenda and New Data for an Aging World, Committee on Population and Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

Notice: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright © 2001, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK98379PMID: 22787685
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