Emma Aguila, PhD, MSc

Emma Aguila, PhD, MSc, an Assistant Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Economics from the University College, London, England, where her dissertation was on the economics of aging. Dr. Aguila, a bilingual (Spanish-English) researcher, is interested in research on health system reform in Mexico, where she is from, for the Mexican Ministry of Health, and her areas of research include the economics of aging, health economics and development economics.




“Immigrant selection on health behaviors and chronic diseases as an explanation for the Hispanic Health Advantage: Evidence from older Mexicans in the United States and Mexico.”Dr. Aquila’s RCMAR/CHIME-funded project examined selective migration in and out of the U.S. as potential explanations for the Hispanic health paradox, which refers to a consistent finding in the research literature that on varied measures of health, including the prevalence of certain chronic diseases and mortality, Hispanics in the U.S. have more favorable indicators than non-Hispanic whites. This finding is considered “paradoxical” because Hispanics have much lower socioeconomic status (SES) than whites, and a large body of research has demonstrated a positive, graded relationship between SES and health.


Aguila E, Escarce J, Leng M, Morales LS. Health status and behavioral risk factors in older adult Mexicans and Mexican immigrants to the United States. Journal of Aging Health. 2013 Feb;25(1):136-58. doi: 10.1177/0898264312468155. Epub 2012 Dec 21. PMID: 23264441. PMCID: PMC3663916.