From two leading experts, a revolutionary new way to think about and measure aging.
Aging is a complex phenomenon. We usually think of chronological age as a benchmark, but it is actually a backward way of defining lifespan. It tells us how long we’ve lived so far, but what about the rest of our lives?
In this pathbreaking book, Warren C. Sanderson and Sergei Scherbov provide a new way to measure individual and population aging. Instead of counting how many years we’ve lived, we should think about the number of years we have left, our “prospective age.” Two people who share the same chronological age probably have different prospective ages, because one will outlive the other. Combining their forward-thinking measure of our remaining years with other health metrics, Sanderson and Scherbov show how we can generate better demographic estimates, which inform better policies. Measuring prospective age helps make sense of observed patterns of survival, reorients understanding of health in old age, and clarifies the burden of old-age dependency. The metric also brings valuable data to debates over equitable intergenerational pensions.
Sanderson and Scherbov’s pioneering model has already been adopted by the United Nations. Prospective Longevity offers us all an opportunity to rethink aging, so that we can make the right choices for our societal and economic health.
Prospective Longevity is Sanderson and Scherbov’s magnum opus. Its pages speak to all of us, no matter how old we are or where we live in the world, through its provocative new way of defining what it means to age.
What if the world’s population is not only aging, but aging better? Prospective Longevity raises the exciting prospect that ‘aging’ could be good news for the economy and beyond. In order to yield long-term dividends, we must explore the methods and insights contained in this pathbreaking book.
Demographers define age in a chronological way, examining the number of years lived since a person’s date of birth. But that does not tell us how old a person really is or how much longer they will live. Through its introduction of prospective age, Sanderson and Scherbov’s magnificent book will change the way we conceptualize aging.
Redefining the concept of ‘old age’ is of fundamental importance. Doing so affects the arrangement of social institutions and the economic system, and has implications for theoretical and practical policymaking. Sanderson and Scherbov’s innovative new book is an inspiration for anyone with an eye toward the future.
In this magisterial volume, Sanderson and Scherbov systematically set out their case for a radical revision of not only how we measure population aging, but how we even conceptualize it. Rigorous, yet engaging and accessible, this book is required reading for anyone interested in one of the greatest societal transformations of our time.
- 272 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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