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Entries by Kenneth Howse
(19 entries)


A new composite indicator for population ageing

How useful are composite indicators in thinking about population ageing?   What I have in mind here are not the kinds of composite measure that are used for various aspects of indivi...


Rationing by frailty

In January of this year the journal Age and Ageing published a commentary piece with the title Rationing by frailty during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It discusses the guidance published by NICE i...


On old age and the stories where sorrows are born(e)

The two pieces we are publishing today are summaries of papers from a seminar Old age: views from philosophy and social science last Thursday (12/11/20). Ashley Moyse, Faculty of ...


A new approach to fertility projections

In 2018 the research group behind the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) studies published a set of life expectancy projections which made use of an innovative approach to projecting future trends in l...


A note on pensioner poverty

Official statistics in the UK measure pensioner poverty in two basic ways - either by looking at the income of pensioner households/individuals relative to the UK median income or by looking at a m...


A book worth re-reading?*

In the early 2000s I worked on a study that set out to compare the experience of chronic illness and disability at different stages of life: young adulthood and mid-life vs later life and old age.&...


A new set of life expectancy projections

NHS England estimates that in 2016 16% of all deaths in England were attributable to smoking.  This is the Population Attributable Fraction (PAF) of mortality for smoking. A similar PAF estima...


A new generational contract?

The Resolution Foundation published the final report of its Intergenerational Commission in May.  After a flurry of predictably mixed responses in the mainstream press, we have to wait and see...


A provocation

The war on the old came out at the end of 2016, and I missed it at the time.  The author is John Sutherland, formerly Lord Northcliffe Professor of English Literature at University College Lon...


Are urban environments best for an ageing population?

A few weeks ago I gave a talk at the annual conference on Future Cities organised by the Department of Land Economy in Cambridge.  I was asked to offer some views on the implications of popula...


A new composite indicator: the Index of Wellbeing in Later Life (WILL)

In February Age UK published an Index of Wellbeing in Later Life.  Anyone interested in composite indicators should have a look at it.  The introduction to the summary report on the Index...


Dementia as a cause of death

A statistical bulletin released by ONS last week reported that in 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias were the leading cause of death in England and Wales.  As the bulletin expl...


Postponing the pension: are we all working longer?

The 2014 Pension Act included a provision for regular - every 6 years - reviews of the State Pension Age (SPA), and in March this year, the government published the terms of reference for the first...


Do you remember the Spirit Level?

Do you remember the Spirit Level, written by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson in 2009?  It advanced what is still widely seen as an intrinsically plausible theory that more equal societies &...


What is social innovation and what does it have to do with ageing?

Michael Young – Lord Young as he eventually became – has become celebrated as a ‘social entrepreneur’.  He may not have coined the phrase, but his example certainly hel...


An inquiry into intergenerational fairness ?

The deadline for written submissions to the parliamentary inquiry conducted by the Work and Pensions Select Committee (chaired by Frank Field MP) into intergenerational fairness was February 19th.&...


Measuring active ageing

The Human Development Index and the Corruption Perceptions Index are two well-known examples of composite indicators that are used both to produce international rankings of country performance, and...


Older People’s Association in South-East Asia

In July this year I returned from a month-long trip to SE Asia where I was helping to coordinate a research project funded by Age International, WHO and the European Commission.  The aim of th...


The great escape

Although Angus Deaton’s book The great escape: health, wealth and the origins of inequality  was published in 2013, it is still being reviewed, and rightly so.  It certainly deserve...