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Preparing for an Aging World: The Case for Cross-National Research.


National Research Council (US) Panel on a Research Agenda and New Data for an Aging World.


Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001.
The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health.


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.

Copyright © 2001, National Academy of Sciences.

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