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Vegard Fykse Skirbekk


Department: Centre for Fertility and Health
Photo of Vegard Fykse Skirbekk


Vegard Skirbekk is a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and a Professor at Columbia University. He took the initiative to form the Centre for Fertility and Health. The centre's idea is to incorporate social and biological aspects of childbearing and their health consequences for both adults and children. Skirbekk has broad experience in fertility research, including in determinants of childbearing, intergenerational risk transmissions, and changes in household composition. Some of his research emphasize how factors can increasingly explain fertility behaviours, including personality, cognition and preferences.Skirbekk has published in academic journals such as Nature, Science and PNAS. He has written articles in demography, psychology, health, religion, economics and social science journals. 


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.

Projects and publications


Telephone: +47

Visiting address

Myrens verksted 2, 0473 Oslo

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