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Dealing with aging in Europe

Contact University of Deusto for this project

Silvia Martínez Rodríguez
Professor of Gerontology
University of Deusto
Faculty of Philosophy and Educational Sciences
48007 - Bilbao - Spain
Phone: +34 944 139000
Fax: +34 944 139089

Contact Tilburg University for this project

Arthur van Soest
Dept. of Econometrics & OR
Netspar, Tilburg University
Phone: +31 13 466 2028
Fax: +31 13 466 3280

Contact University of Mannheim for this project

Prof. Dr. Paul Gans
Economic Geography
Dept. of Economics
Univ. of Mannheim
D-68131 Mannheim, Germany
Phone: +49 621 181 1963
Fax: +49 621 181 1955

University of Deusto

Deusto has a multidisciplinary research team in aging and gerontology. It focuses on the psycho-social and educative field. One of the research topics is health and quality of life of older people and explores the factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of a health that prevent dependency. Currently, from a preventive framework the team is studying active ageing.

Another topic of research is family caregivers of the dependent elderly. These informal caregivers are a major provider of sustainable care for the old generation. This team has done work for the local government and has international contacts with Canada, Italy and Latin-American countries.

Our contribution to this research topic could focus on the following:
- Implications of public policies. Active ageing requires public policies that promote it. Public policies currently focus in dependent individuals but the preventive perspective also needs to be considered. Comparative analyses and best practices need to be identified.
- Family, caregivers and social networks: Support systems, stress prevention for caregivers of dependent elderly.

Tilburg University

The ageing of populations is one of the main secular developments shaping the 21st century. Ageing will fundamentally affect individuals as well as the European welfare states. Globalisation and population ageing now exert large pressures on our welfare states, necessitating reform of pension and health care systems. This will impact European labour markets as well as the health and well-being of European citizens. The general challenge, both from a research and policy perspective, lies in turning ageing from a threat into an opportunity. The main question to be addressed pertains to the institutional, financial, fiscal and organizational conditions for this.

Relevance to future of European societies
In this context the following policy goals are relevant:
- The Lisbon agenda: Europe leading the world.
- Protecting human resources.
- Encouraging financial and social innovation.
- Reinventing retirement, health care, income provisions.

Research needs to address, among other things, the following societal issues that are key to European societies:
- Retirement and labour supply at older ages.
- Job satisfaction, health, social networks.
- Productivity and (investing in) skills of older workers.
- Employer attitudes.
- The position of Immigrants.
- The role of institutions (pension systems, unemployment and disability benefits, unions).
- Pension systems (state and occupational).
- Intergenerational risk sharing.
- Individual and Household decisions on labour supply, retirement savings, portfolio choice, housing, consumption, etc.
- Financial knowledge, retirement planning.
- Health insurance.
- Financing health care for the elderly.
- Public policy implications.
- Economic well-being.
- Family and other social networks.
- Inter- and intra-generational transfers.

University of Mannheim

Dealing with ageing in Europe: different causes of ageing on regional level; regional disparities of the ageing process; existing problems and different solutions with regard to labour housing market, social and technical infrastructure
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