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Pilot Projects | Major Research Projects

Research

The funded research on aging by members of the Center can be grouped under six broad themes:

  1. Biodemography of Aging (evolutionary theory; biological experiments; genomic analysis; data building; K12 award for high level training)
  2. Demographic and fiscal projections and analysis, Social Security (stochastic projections, mortality forecasting, Social Security projections, Federal, State and Local budget projections, Microsimulation projections, policy advising)
  3. Health, Disability and Mortality (macro and micro analyses, descriptive and causal analyses; Human Mortality Database)
  4. Behavioral and Experimental Economics (A new initiative to use the Experimental Social Sciences Laboratory to study savings and retirement behavior)
  5. Life Cycle Planning and Intergenerational Transfers (Generational Accounting, National Transfer Accounts, life cycle planning, saving and demographic transition)
  6. Labor Supply (Changing labor supply at older ages, retirement behavior).

Some of the research funded by large extramural grants is described on the Major Research Projects page.

Among the foremost goals of the Center are to facilitate the development of innovative research directions by members with potentially high scientific payoff; to assist and encourage researchers not currently engaged in research on aging to become engaged; and to encourage and facilitate the entry of new young researchers in the field. CEDA does this through its program of Pilot Grants.

It is also an important goal of the Center to increase research activities among social scientists at Berkeley together with scholars in aging at other institutions. Currently, research by Berkeley members is being conducted in collaboration with scholars at Stanford, UC Davis, the University of Hawaii, the University of Victoria, and The Fresh Pond Research Institute in Cambridge, MA. Many of these collaborations include scholars from a broad range of fields, such as biology, economics, statistics, entomology, nematology, ecology, and sociology. These diverse backgrounds bring fresh perspectives to aging research, and help to generate new approaches to the demography and economics of aging.

One such collaboration resulted in a P01 grant from NIA. The central focus of this research was the biodemography of life span which involves scholars from UC Berkeley, Stanford, and UC Davis. This program brought experimental techniques, biological systems, demographic concepts, statistical methods, and theoretical models to bear on questions concerning the determinants of life span in both humans and in non-human model systems including both vertebrates (comparative demography of mammals; birds) and invertebrates (fruit flies; nematodes). A recent summary of  research culminating from this project may be found in a special 2012 issue of Experimental Gerontology, Volume 47, Issue 10. [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/05315565/47/10 ]