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Biodemography: Research prospects and directions


  • James R. Carey

    (University of California, Davis)


The purpose of this opinion report is to outline what I consider to be the most promising areas for future biodemographic research and to suggest ways in which the field can be moved forward. I discuss five major themes: i) biodemography of disability; ii) ecological, developmental, behavioral and evolutionary biodemography; iii) biodemography of sociality; iv) genomic and genetic biodemography; and v) biodemographic modeling and analysis. I consider the last two areas (genomics/genetics; modeling/analysis) as both stand-alone topics and cross-cutting concepts. At the end of the paper I present ideas for charting the future course including strengthening and expanding infrastructure, database and website development, organizing conferences, submitting new training grants, and integrating biodemography into teaching programs.

Suggested Citation

  • James R. Carey, 2008. "Biodemography: Research prospects and directions," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(50), pages 1749-1758, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:50

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Gurven & Hillard Kaplan, 2007. "Longevity Among Hunter- Gatherers: A Cross-Cultural Examination," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(2), pages 321-365.
    2. James W. Vaupel & Annette Baudisch & Martin Dölling & Deborah A. Roach & Jutta Gampe, 2004. "The case for negative senescence," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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    More about this item


    biodemography; frailty; life span; longevity;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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