RAND economist and PRGS professor Titus Galama has received an Independent Scientist Award (K02) from the National Institute on Aging, a prestigious career development award offered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The purpose of the NIH Independent Scientist Award is to foster the development of outstanding scientists and enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research.
Galama, who received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Amsterdam in 1999 and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Tilburg in 2011, submitted his application so he could focus on a project he titled "Human Capital, Health and Longevity: Explaining the Health Gradient." Galama's award will allow him to spend 75 percent of his time for five years on this topic. Through his project Galama aims to develop a theoretical framework that integrates human capital theory (e.g., education and training) and health capital theory (e.g., health outcomes and longevity). As part of the project he plans to work with Nobel Laureate James Heckman on integrating biology into economics. A further aim is to use the grant to set up a RAND Labor and Population center with a focus on human capital, health, and aging research. The aim of the new center is to bring together researchers with similar interests, and reach out to the larger research community and policymakers.
Galama's recent work has included studies of health and retirement behavior, labor markets, technology-based economic development, education, and the science and engineering workforce. He has developed a theoretical framework for understanding disparities in health by socioeconomic status and an analytic human capital model to investigate the economics of health and retirement.