Conference on Aging

Posted in Announcements News

When: Friday, November 17, 2023, 3:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Location: Online and Bank of Spain, Madrid (9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. CET)

Many economies are confronting the economic and social realities accompanying an increasingly older population and workforce. While many of these factors are associated with funding retirement and pensions, there are also the social costs associated with the difficulties resulting from loss of professional identity and economic security, as well as the financial burden of providing and funding health care for the elderly.

This all-day conference will bring together some of the world’s leading experts on the economic issues related to aging. Eight academic presentations will address trends and drivers in the inequality of mortality; retirement security and health insurance; workforce aging, skill decline, and the organization of work; and a macro perspective on aging and growth. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Ángel Gavilán, director general for economics, statistics and research at the Bank of Spain.

In-Person Registration

Please register to attend the in-person event here.

Virtual Registration

Please register to watch the livestream here.

This event is co-sponsored by Bank of Spain – Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI) and the Georgetown University Global Economic Challenges Network.


Katharine G. Abraham is a distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland. She served as commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1993 through 2001 and as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 through 2013. She currently serves on standing academic advisory committees convened by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Abraham is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association, and an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the Society of Labor Economists.

James Banks is professor of economics at the University of Manchester and senior research fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). He joined the IFS as a full-time research economist in 1990. While employed by the IFS he directed research into consumption and savings from 1992 to 1999, completed a part-time Ph.D. in economics at University College London (UCL), and served as deputy director of IFS from 1997 to 2002. In 2002 Banks became deputy research director of IFS and joined the economics faculty at UCL, where he was professor of economics. He moved to Manchester in 2010. He received his B.S. from Bristol and M.S. from the London School of Economics.

Tito Boeri is professor of economics at Bocconi University, Milan, and acts as scientific director of the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti. He was senior economist at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development from 1987 to 1996. He was also a consultant to the European Commission, International Monetary Fund, International Labour Organization, World Bank, and the Italian government. Currently, Boeri is a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, Institute for the Study of Labor, and Igier-Bocconi. He is the founder of the economic policy watchdog website and VoxEU and the scientific director of the Festival of Economics.

David Canning is the Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Science and professor of economics and international health in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on the role of demographic change and health improvements in economic development. Canning served as associate director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS) from 2008 to 2017, where he was principal investigator on the Welfare Effects of Balancing the Federal Social Security and Health Care Budgets project.

Ángel Gavilán (panel moderator) is the director general for economics, statistics, and research at the Bank of Spain. He is a member of the executive commission of the Bank of Spain and alternate to the governor on the Governing Council of the European Central Bank. He is also a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the European System of Central Banks. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and began his professional career at the Bank of Spain in 2005. Between 2012 and 2016 he worked at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA). From 2016 to 2018 he was deputy head of the economics and market analysis division in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). At the end of 2018 he rejoined the Bank of Spain as the head of the financial analysis division and executive coordinator and deputy director of the economic developments department.

Pablo Hernández de Cos (welcome remarks) is governor of the Bank of Spain and member of the Governing and General Council of the European Central Bank (ECB). He is chair of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, chair of the Board of Governors of the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies, and chair of the Advisory Technical Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board. He is member of various European and international committees including the ESRB, the Financial Stability Board, the Bank for International Settlements Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, and the Advisory Board of the Financial Stability Institute. He is also vice-chairman of the Board of the Spanish Macroprudential Authority Financial Stability Board (AMCESFI). He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Complutense University in Madrid, a degree in economics and business studies from CUNEF, and a degree in law from Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.

Carol Popper is professor of economics at Imperial College Business School in the Department of Economics and Public Policy. Between 2016 and 2019 she was also vice dean for faculty and research at Imperial College Business School. She is a past president of the Royal Economic Society. In 2021 she was a member of French President Emmanuel Macron’s expert commission on major economic challenges. In 2021 she was made a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her services to public health and economics; she previously was awarded a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her services to social science in 2010. She is a fellow of the British Academy, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, Centre for Economic Policy Research, and the Academy of Social Sciences.

Christopher J. Ruhm is a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Virginia. He received his doctorate in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984. During the 1996-1997 academic year he served as senior economist on President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, where his main responsibilities were in the areas of health policy, aging, and labor market issues. He is currently a research associate in the health economics, health care policy, and children’s programs of the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Germany.

Hannes Schwandt is an associate professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, associate director at the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and a research associate at the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research. His research has been published in leading economics, medical, and general science journals such as the Review of Economic Studies, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and his work is frequently covered by leading media outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist. In 2020, Schwandt was selected to Capital’s Top 40 Under 40 list, which recognizes Germany’s most important talents from business, politics, and science.

Andrew J. Scott is professor of economics at the London Business School, a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and a consulting scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Longevity. He was managing editor for the Royal Economic Society’s Economic Journal and non-executive director for the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority from 2009 to 2013. He has been an advisor on policy to a range of governments. He is currently on the advisory board of the United Kingdom’s Office for Budget Responsibility, the Cabinet Office Honours Committee (Science and Technology), co-founder of the Longevity Forum, a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s International Commission on Health Longevity, and the World Economic Forum council on Healthy Ageing and Longevity.


9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Welcome Remarks

•    Pablo Hernández de Cos, Governor of Bank of Spain

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | Session 1: Trends and Drivers in Inequality of Mortality
•    Hannes Schwandt, Northwestern University, “The American Death Problem”
•    Christopher J. Ruhm, University of Virginia, “Mortality Trends in the United States: the Roles of Education and Despair”

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Coffee Break

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Session 2: Retirement Security, Health Insurance
•    James Banks, University of Manchester, “The Accumulation and Decumulation of Private Retirement Wealth: Policy Issues”
•   Carol Popper, Imperial College, “Pension Reforms and National Health Service Doctors”

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Lunch

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Session 3: Workforce Aging, Skill Decline, and the Organization of Work
•    Tito Boeri, Bocconi University, “Retirement, Aging and Migration: Connecting the Dots”
•    Katharine G. Abraham, University of Maryland, “Self-employment at Older Ages”

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Coffee Break

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Session 4: The Macro Perspective: Aging and Growth
•    Andrew J. Scott, London Business School, “A Longevity Economy”
•    David Canning, Harvard University, “Policy Responses to Population Aging: a Welfare Approach”

6:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. | Break

6:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Panel Discussion
•    Ángel Gavilán (moderator), Bank of Spain