We argue that over the past 300 years human physiology has been undergoing profound environmentally induced changes made possible by numerous advances in technology. These changes, which we call technophysio evolution, increased body size by over 50%, and greatly improved the robustness and capacity of vital organ systems. Because technophysio evolution is still ongoing, it is relevant to forecasts of longevity and morbidity and, therefore, to forecasts of the size of the elderly population and pension and health care costs.
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Both authors gratefully acknowledge the support of NIH Grant AGI0 120-05 and NSF Grant SES9114981. Dora Costa also has benefited from the support of a NIA Aging Fellowship at the National Bureau of Economic Research and of NIH Grant AG12658-01AI. We thank Samuel H. Preston and two anonymous referees for helpful comments.
An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03208770.
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Fogel, R.W., Costa, D.L. A theory of technophysio evolution, with some implications for forecasting population, health care costs, and pension costs. Demography 34, 49–66 (1997). https://doi.org/10.2307/2061659
- National Health Interview Survey
- Secular Trend
- Labor Force Participation Rate
- Secular Decline
- Human Engine