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Life course, welfare and wellbeing in an ageing world

Life course, welfare and wellbeing in an ageing world

Life course, welfare and wellbeing in an ageing world: international perspectives

Start Date:  Jan 2013   End Date:  December 2017   Status: Ongoing


National policies and circumstances can influence life course impacts on health and quality of life at later ages. These influences can be studied only in cross-national comparisons.  To date these effects are studied predominantly in the European context, which is due to a greater availability of data.  Building on the project on cross-national comparison of quality of life in Europe, the proposed project will explore the relationship between welfare state policies and health and quality of life at older ages in a wider global context to include developing countries.


The research questions this project will ask are:

  1. How health and quality of life differ among countries in the first, second and third worlds?
  2. How much life course pathways impact these differences?
  3. Can these differences be explained by national welfare policies?
 To answer these questions the project will have the following aims:
  1. To describe health and quality of life in different countries in a comparable manner;
  2. (To study life course influences on health and quality of life in different countries using micro and macro level data;
  3. To explore how national welfare policies explain the differences in health and quality of life as well as the life course impacts on the health and quality of life among countries.



  • The project will try to incorporate data from new studies like CHARLS (Chinese Health, Ageing and Retirement Longitudinal Study), KLOSA (Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing), JSTAR (Japanese Study of Ageing and Retirement) and LASI (Longitudinal Ageing Study of India) into the framework of European (SHARE, ELSA) and USA (HRS) longitudinal data.  For many countries, especially in Africa, longitudinal survey data will not be available but a policy level analysis incorporating a life course perspective will be possible with repeated cross-sectional data collected through national family health surveys and applying sequential cohort analysis.

Statistical methods

  • The project will use longitudinal and multi-level models. The project also will contribute to developing methods in comparative analyses.


The results of this study could inform national and international policy on human development and wellbeing. The study can potentially discriminate between policies that are universal and those are context specific to the stage of economic development.

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Project Lead:

Professor Gopalakrishnan Netuveli

Project Team: Dr Noriko Cable (Co-I) (UCL)

Funder: ESRC

Project Partners: UCL

For more information, contact: Professor Gopalakrishnan Netuveli

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