Professor Sarah Harper CBE

Professor Sarah Harper CBE

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Founder, Oxford Institute of Ageing

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Sarah is a professor of gerontology, and a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute. Her work focuses on the implications of our ageing populations, from the effect on resources to shifts in employment patterns and decreasing fertility. After studying health, social and economic programmes in Asia, she explores the challenges and opportunities that an ageing society presents for government, planners and for business. She also debunks a number of myths.


A Professor of Gerontology and a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute, Sarah focuses on the implications of ageing populations from the effect on resources to changing workplaces and decreasing fertility.

As an ethnographer, Sarah focused on migration and the social implications of demographic change. She leads the Complex Environmental Population Interactions Programme and considers the impact at the global, societal and individual level of the age-structural shift from predominantly young to predominantly older societies.

Originally a news reporter for the BBC, Sarah then became a professor of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. She did her post-doctoral research in China, has worked and lectured all over the Asia-Pacific region, and was the first holder of the International Chair in Old Age Financial Stability at the University of Malaya.

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Book written by Professor Sarah Harper CBE