Vegard Skirbekk is a population economist and social scientist specialising in demographic analysis and cohort studies. He holds a professorial position at the Population and Family Health at Colombia Aging Centre at Columbia University, USA. Skirbekk received his PhD from Rostock University, Germany and has also worked at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. He has two decades of international experience and has held professorships and scientific leadership positions in Austria and Germany. He has received research grants from ERC, PEW and UNESCO. Skirbekk’s main research focus is on health, productivity, and associated determinants from a multidisciplinary perspective, with an emphasis on the role of changing labor market demands, technological and cultural changes as well as variation in the attitudes, beliefs, and competences of new cohorts. He has published widely on comparative health and cultural studies for countries from all world regions. Skirbekk has worked extensively on causality, global comparative assessments and projections.