Esteban Calvo, PhD, MPH

  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Columbia Aging Center)
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Esteban Calvo is a life-course sociologist and social epidemiologist interested in positive aging processes. Much of his work aims to identify and understand the social factors experienced across the life course that influence the health and happiness of older adults, as well as to evaluate public policies and interventions that can improve their well-being and benefit society as a whole. His current research agenda includes three threads: (1) assessing the impact of life-course statuses, transitions, and trajectories on a variety of health outcomes, from self-reports to physical measures and biomarkers; (2) understanding how individuals react to social contexts and public policies that they experience over the life course; and (3) improving our understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by demographic change to aging-related policy throughout the world. His recent publications focus on the health effects of work and retirement, life satisfaction effects of unemployment and pension policy, as well as cultural and structural determinants of social security and health policy reforms worldwide. He is currently engaged in a long-term "cells to society" project, studying patterns of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular health outcomes and mortality among older adults in more than 20 countries. Dr. Calvo is the recipient of awards from the American Public Health Association, American Sociological Association, Gerontological Society of America, and Retirement Research Foundation.

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Columbia Aging Center)

Administrative Titles

  • Faculty, Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 2002 Pontificia Universidad Catlica
  • PhD, 2009 Boston College
  • MPH, 2010 Harvard University

Editorial Boards

Society and Mental Health

Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences

Injury Epidemiology

Honors & Awards

James G. Zimmer New Investigator Research Award, Aging and Public Health Section, American Association of Public Health

Robert Dentler Award for Outstanding Student Achievement, Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology, American Sociological Association

Retirement Research Foundation Laurence G. Branch Doctoral Award, Section on Gerontological Health, American Association of Public Health

Gerontological Society of America Student Research Award, Honorable Mention, Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section

Severyn T. Bruyn Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Social Economy and Social Justice


Research Interests

  • Aging
  • Biostatistical Methods
  • Community Health
  • Global Health
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Use

Selected Publications

Calvo, Esteban, Ariel Azar, Robin Shura, and Ursula M. Staudinger. 2022. A new opportunity to address multimorbidity: Longitudinal associations between retirement sequences and chronic diseases in old age. Journal of Applied Gerontology 41(4):952-61.

Allel, Kasim, Ana Sofia Leon, Ursula M. Staudinger, and Esteban Calvo. 2021. Healthy retirement begins at school: Educational differences in the health outcomes of early transitions into retirement. Ageing & Society 41(1):137-57.

Richardson, Robin A., Katherine M. Keyes, Jose T. Medina, and Esteban Calvo. 2020. Socio-demographic Inequalities in depression among older adults: Evidence from 18 countries. Lancet Psychiatry 7(8):673-81.

Calvo Esteban, Kasim Allel, Ursula M. Staudinger, Alvaro Castillo-Carniglia, Jose T. Medina, and Katherine Keyes. 2020. Cross-country differences in age trends in alcohol consumption among older adults: A cross-sectional study of individuals age 50 and older in 22 countries. Addiction 116(6):1399-412.

Calvo, Esteban, Jose T. Medina, Katherine Ornstein, Ursula M. Staudinger, Linda P. Fried, and Katherine M. Keyes. 2020. Cross-country and historical variation in alcohol consumption among older men and women: Leveraging recently harmonized survey data in 21 countries. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 225(1):1-9.

Willis, Margaret, Ursula M. Staudinger, Pam Factor-Litvak, and Esteban Calvo. 2019. Stress and salivary telomere length in the second half of life: A comparison of life-course models. Advances in Life Course Research 39:34-41.

Calvo, Esteban, Ignacio Madero-Cabib, and Ursula M. Staudinger. 2018. Retirement Sequences of Older Americans: Moderately de-standardized and highly stratified across gender, class, and race. The Gerontologist 58(6):1166-76.

Feigl, Andrea, Joshua Salomon, Eric Ding, and Esteban Calvo. 2015. Teenage smoking behaviour following a high-school smoking ban in Chile: Interrupted time series analysis. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 93(7):468-75. doi:

Calvo, Esteban, Christine A. Mair, and Natalia Sarkisian. 2015. Individual troubles, shared troubles: The multiplicative effect of individual and country-level unemployment on life satisfaction in 95 nations (1981-2009). Social Forces 93(4):1625-53. doi:

Calvo, Esteban, Natalia Sarkisian, and Christopher R. Tamborini. 2013. Causal effects of retirement timing on subjective physical and emotional health. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 68(1):73-84. doi: