James W. Vaupel

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research


Election Year: 2004
Primary Section: 53, Social and Political Sciences
Secondary Section: 27, Evolutionary Biology
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

I am a demographer with broad interdisciplinary interests in biodemography, mathematical demography, and studies of the consequences of demographic change and their policy implications. I helped build the modern field of biodemography and contributed to the discovery of the plasticity of longevity in humans and various other species. Recently I have developed evolutionary demographic models of the age-trajectories of fertility, mortality, and growth and have shown that under some conditions fertility continues to increase with age and mortality continues to fall. That is, senescence is not inevitable for all species. In mathematical demography, I have developed "frailty models" for analyzing the dynamics of heterogeneous populations as well as methods for decomposing population changes and differences into direct and compositional effects. In my policy-relevant research, I documented the long-term rise of human life expectancy, made forecasts of future life expectancy, and explored policy options for the new demography of low fertility, high immigration, and longer lives.

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