Dr Skirbekk focuses on the implications of global demographic changes, for health, sustainability, and productivity. He believes that foreseeable challenges can be best met with comprehensive interdisciplinary research to allow for better and more long-term policies. This includes insights gained through econometric techniques and data that could be used to identify broader interdependent relations, taking into account insights from psychology, economics, medicine, population studies, epidemiology, and other disciplines such as climate research, political science or genetics.
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.