Productive Ageing in Australia and Asia

In Australia, there has been increasing policy attention on maintaining productivity by enabling and supporting Australians to continue participation in productive activities as they age. The productive ageing approach recognises that older individuals can and often do continue making valuable social and economic contributions by engaging in a range of productive activities. Productive activities may be paid or unpaid, and include volunteering, caregiving, and other informal help to others such as childcare and housework.

This project draws primarily from the Australian Longitudinal Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey from 2001 to 2012. The aim of this research is to investigate the extent of engagement in productive activities, and the determinants and consequences of engagement in productive activities for more recent cohorts of ageing individuals in Australia.

Other research based on HILDA includes social capital dynamics and health in mid to later life.

HILDA together with the China Health, Ageing and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) are used for our comparative study project in China and Australia on various topics including paid work in later life. For information on our other project utilising CHARLS see: ARC Discovery Project ‘Ageing in China and Australia: Promoting health, productivity and wellbeing’.

A three year research project is currently underway on understanding health care utilization among older Chinese people with chronic diseases and how this benefits productivity, in which Cathy Gong is the Partner Investigator (PI). This project was funded by the China Social Science Research Funding 2017.

Other work in Asia includes longitudinal analyses of the Thai Cohort Study (TCS, 2005-present) on a range of topics including work, health, and caregiving. International collaboration includes comparative studies between the TCS and the UK Health Survey of England (HSE) on work and health, and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) on pain and activities of daily living in older adults.