Eggleston: East Asia's demographic challenges

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Karen Eggleston (left) confers with a healthcare worker at a primary care clinic in Hangzhou, China. Robin Yao

Demographic change is fast becoming one of the most globally significant trends of the 21st century. Declining fertility rates and rising life expectancy -- two of the patterns triggering demographic change -- will cause vast socioeconomic strains, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, which has some of the world's most populous countries. Stanford health researcher Karen Eggleston says comparison and cross-collaboration are needed to induce creative solutions.

In an interview with the Office of International Affairs, Eggleston discusses her research approaches and partnerships in the study of healthcare systems and health policy in the Asia-Pacific region. She leads a multiyear research initative that examines comparative policy responses to demographic change in East Asia. Eggleston says the goal is to help move global health policy to a place where everyone has an "equal opportunity for a healthier and longer life."

The Q&A may be viewed in full by clicking here.

Analyzing demographic change in China, Japan and South Korea is the focus of the book Aging Asiaan outcome of a conference between the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Eggleston also coedited a special issue of the Journal of the Economics of Ageing with David Bloom, a professor at Harvard University, looking at a range of economic issues related to population change in China and India.