UTSA to host Nov. 12 lecture on aging and health disparity in Mexico

Rebeca Wong

Rebeca Wong

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(Nov. 11, 2013) -- The UTSA Department of Demography will present economic demography and health disparities expert Rebeca Wong at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12 in Frio Street Building Room 1.402 at the UTSA Downtown Campus. Her lecture, "Aging in Mexico: What Can We Learn from Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS)," is free and open to the public.

Wong is an internationally recognized expert in the economic demography of Hispanic and immigrant populations in the United States and Latin America, particularly Mexico. Her research focuses on migration and the consequences of health and aging.

She is a professor of preventative medicine and community health, the P. & S. Kempner Distinguished Professor in Health Disparities, senior fellow at the Sealy Center on Aging and director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on Aging and Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

"Dr. Wong applies a cross-national perspective to study health and aging processes of the population," said Joachim Singelmann, chair of the Department of Demography. "In this area, she has found that, after controlling for migration selectivity, older adults in Mexico who are former U.S. migrants have a large wealth advantage over Mexicans who never left for the U.S."

Wong found that part of this economic gain may be because of skills they acquired in the United States, which provided them with higher earnings upon returning to Mexico or their children's subsequent U.S. migration that allowed the older adults to accumulate wealth through remittances.

In a forthcoming book, Wong and her colleagues examine the consequences of social security reforms with a gender perspective in three countries of Latin America and draw lessons for policy makers in other countries seeking to revamp their social security systems.

For more information on the lecture, contact the UTSA Department of Demography at 210-458-3163.