About NIA

Old and New Measures of Human Well-being

Thursday, January 27, 2000

Three related meetings were held in 1999-2000 (Burden of Illness, Psychology and Economics, and Old and New Measures of Well-being) concerned with issues of interest to psychology, economics and medicine, and to various emerging hybrid disciplines such as behavioral medicine and behavioral economics.

Recommendations from Burden of Illness (BOI): Develop models for specific diseases and conditions; Test alternative approaches for assessing health states and for assessing the values assigned to different health states; How sensitive are values of the summary measure to changes in such subcomponents as mortality, incidence, or specific dimensions of functioning?

Recommendations from Psychology and Economics: Compare older and younger adults’ attitudes toward risk, delay of gratification, and reciprocal altruism; Measure lifecycle variation in consumption tastes and link this variation to normative theories of saving; Evaluate policies using the tools of behavioral economics (i.e., theories of bounded rationality, self-control, peer group effects, and learning).