13 June 2016
Toronto, Canada

Modelling human capital formation as the basis for assessing the benefits of education

Wolfgang Lutz will give a talk as part of the Keyfitz Lectures in Mathematics and the Social Sciences series at The Fields Institute.

University Toronto © Petar Zigich | Dreamstime

University Toronto © Petar Zigich | Dreamstime

The Fields Institute is hosting a series of public lectures on the topic of mathematics and the social sciences. catering to the university community as well as to individuals involved in public administration, economics, health policy, social and political science. The purpose of the series is both to inform the public of some of the ways quantitative methods are being used to design solutions to societal problems, and to encourage dialogue between mathematical and social scientists.

From 1983-1991 Nathan Keyfitz led IIASA's Population Project (POP) and was IIASA Deputy Director during 1992. IIASA was one of the few places that studied the possible impacts of population aging in a systematic manner, and Keyfitz was one of the first demographers to seriously study the relationships between population and the environment, which put IIASA at the forefront of the scientific analysis of these complex interactions. He also laid the foundations for the probabilistic population projections that POP was later to produce. 

As leading expert in the study of population and human capital, Wolfgang Lutz was invited to give a lecture with the title "Modelling human capital formation as the basis for assessing the benefits of education: A global perspective". Lutz worked with Keyfitz since he joined IIASA in October 1985 and is Program Director since 1992.

The lecture will take place on 13 June 2016 at 5PM at The Fields Institute. It is open to the public and everyone is welcome.

For more information to this event please visit the event website.


The methods of multi-dimensional population analysis and modeling, which were developed by Nathan Keyfitz and Andrei Rogers during the 1970s and early 1980s in and around IIASA provide powerful tools for explicitly considering population heterogeneity that goes beyond the conventional break-down by age and sex. Over the last decade work at IIASA has demonstrated that the level of highest educational attainment is probably the single most important source of population heterogeneity because in virtually all countries of the world women with higher levels of education have fewer children and both men and women with higher education live longer. Along these lines IIASA has recently produced the first comprehensive reconstructions and projections of populations by age, sex and level of educational attainment for most countries of the world. For the future, alternative scenarios have been developed where different education expansion trajectories alone can lead to a difference of more than one billion in world population already by mid-century. These new comprehensive educational attainment data by age and sex reconstructed to 1970 were also used to firmly establish the key role of human capital for economic growth, but also for improvements in health and even for strengthening the adaptive capacity to already unavoidable climate change.

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Last edited: 06 June 2016


Wolfgang Lutz

Acting Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Principal Research Scholar and Senior Program Advisor Population and Just Societies Program

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In Memoriam: Nathan Keyfitz 1913 – 2010

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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