Health and wellbeing in later life: measurement predictions and interventions

This Fellowship seeks to understand how people’s health and wellbeing changes as they age. In particular, the projects within the Fellowship investigate the causes and consequences of poor health in older age by applying advanced econometric and statistical methods to longitudinal datasets.

There are three projects within this Fellowship. The first project considers why self-assessment of health often differs from health satisfaction in later life and whether these measures pick up different aspects of subjective health. This research uses a novel technique to investigate the dynamic relationships of these measures.

The second project identifies groups of people who are vulnerable to ill health in later life. Longitudinal data (from the Understanding Society survey) on contemporaneously reported events which occur during the working life are used to predict health and wellbeing in older age. The project further considers how policy might intervene to support these vulnerable groups.

The final project evaluates the effect of community assets in the context of improving health and wellbeing in later life. These assets are designed to reduce social exclusion, and promote a community spirit, yet very little is known about their effectiveness.

Fellowship objectives

  • To improve understanding of the causes and consequences of poor health in later life through advanced econometric and statistical methods.
  • To investigate what causes the marked differences between self-assessed health and satisfaction with health in later life.
  • To investigate how groups at higher risk of poor health and low wellbeing can be identified from events during the working life, and how policy might address this.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of community assets as a mechanism to improve the health and wellbeing of older people.

Principal investigator

  • Dr Luke Munford; Research Fellow Manchester Centre for Health Economics, The University of Manchester

Manchester co-investigators

  • Professor Matt Sutton; Manchester  Centre for Health Economics, The University of Manchester
  • Professor James Banks; Department of Economics, The University of Manchester, and IFS, London


  • Professor Andrew Jones; Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York
  • Professor Arie Kapteyn; Center for Economic and Social Research, University of Southern California, USA


Medical Research Council (MRC)

Funding period

1 September 2016 - 31 August 2019

Partner organisations

  • University of York
  • University of Southern California

Disciplines involved

  • Economics
  • Health Economics
  • Primary Care