For thirty years, the National Bureau of Economic Research's Program on the Economics of Aging has produced new research on the health and economic circumstances of individuals as they age. During this time, the demographics that motivate this research have substantially changed. Today, most developed nations are grappling with substantially larger populations of older people than in past decades. Many are retiring from paid work, yet they are living longer than ever, and their well-being is shaped by their past decisions such as their saving behavior, as well as by current and future economic conditions, health status, medical innovations, and a rapidly evolving landscape of policy incentives and supports. The contributions to Insights in the Economics of Aging uncover how financial, physical, and emotional well-being are integrally related. Contributions consider the interactions between financial circumstances in later life, such as household savings and home ownership, physical circumstances such as health and disability, and emotional well-being, including happiness and mental health.
David A. Wise is the John F. Stambaugh Professor of Political Economy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is the area director of Health and Retirement Programs and director of the Program on the Economics of Aging at the NBER.