Current Perspectives on Retirement Policy

14th Annual RRC Conference

National Press Club, Washington, DC 20045
August 2-3, 2012

Panel 1: HEALTH

Samuel H. Preston, Andrew Stokes, and Bochen Cao, University of Pennsylvania; and Neil K. Mehta, Emory University
Projecting the Effect of Changes in Smoking and Obesity on Future Life Expectancy in the United States
Summary   Slides

Barry Bosworth and Gary Burtless, The Brookings Institution
Growth in Health Consumption and Its Implications for the Financing of the OASDI Program: An International Perspective
Summary   Slides

Mariacristina De Nardi and Eric French, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and John Bailey Jones, University at Albany, SUNY
Medicaid Insurance and Redistribution in Old Age
Summary   Slides

Panel 2: SAVING

Michael D. Hurd and Susann Rohwedder, RAND Corporation; Angela Lee Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania; and David Weir, University of Michigan
Personality Traits and Economic Preparation for Retirement
Summary   Slides

Raj Chetty and John N. Friedman, Harvard University, and Soren Leth Petersen and Torben Nielsen, University of Copenhagen
Active vs. Passive Decisions and Crowd-out in Retirement Savings Accounts
Summary   Slides

Barbara A. Butrica and Karen Elizabeth Smith, The Urban Institute
401(k) Participant Behavior in a Volatile Economy
Summary   Slides

Guest Speaker: ROBERT C. MERTON
School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance, MIT
Resident Scientist, Dimensional Fund Advisors


Sepideh Modrek (Sandell Grant Recipient) and Mark R. Cullen, Stanford University
Physical Job Demand and Early Retirement
Summary   Slides

Alan L. Gustman, Dartmouth College, and Thomas L. Steinmeier, Texas Tech University
Behavioral Effects of Social Security Policies on Benefit Claiming, Retirement and Saving
Summary   Slides

John Shoven, Stanford University, and Sita N. Slavov, American Enterprise Institute
The Decision to Delay Social Security Benefits: Theory and Evidence
Summary   Slides


David Autor, MIT; Nicole Maestas and Kathleen Mullen, RAND; and Alexander Strand, Social Security Administration
Does Delay Cause Decay? The Effect of Administrative Decision Time on the Labor Force Participation and Earnings of Disability Applicants
Summary   Slides

Norma B. Coe, Boston College, and Kalman Rupp, Social Security Administration
Does Access to Health Insurance Influence Work Effort Among Disability Insurance Recipients?
Summary   Slides

Richard V. Burkhauser, Cornell University; T. Lynn Fisher, Social Security Administration; Andrew Houtenville, University of New Hampshire; and Jennifer Tennant, Ithaca College
Using the 2009 CPS-ASEC-SSA Matched Data Set to Show Who Is and Is Not Captured in the Official Six-Question Sequence on Disability
Summary   Slides


Abby Alpert and David Powell, RAND
Tax Elasticity of Labor Earnings for Older Individuals
Summary   Slides

Chinhui Juhn, University of Houston, and Kristin McCue, U.S. Bureau of the Census
Workplace Characteristics and Employment of Older Workers
Summary   Slides

Matthew S. Rutledge, Natalia Orlova, and Anthony Webb, Boston College
How Will Older Workers Who Lose Their Jobs During the Great Recession Fare in the Long-Run?
Summary   Slides

Panel 6: REFORM

April Yanyuan Wu and Alicia Munnell, Boston College; Nadia Karamcheva, The Urban Institute; and Patrick Purcell, Social Security Administration
How Does the Changing Role of Women Affect Social Security?
Summary   Slides   Discussion

David Neumark and Joanne Song, University of California, Irvine
Barriers to Later Retirement: Increases in the Full Retirement Age, Age Discrimination, and the Physical Challenges of Work
Summary   Slides

Lee Lockwood, Northwestern University, and Dayanand Manoli, University of Texas at Austin
Intergenerational Risk Sharing and the Effects of Social Security Reforms
Summary   Slides


Matthew S. Rutledge, Boston College
Holding Out or Opting Out? Deciding Between Retirement and Disability Applications in Recessions
Summary   Slides

Megan Skira, University of Georgia (RRC Dissertation Fellowship)
Dynamic Wage and Employment Effects of Elder Parent Care
Summary   Slides

Kathleen McGarry, University of California Los Angeles, and Jonathan Skinner, Dartmouth College
The Importance of Private and Government Safety Nets: A Comparison of Approved and Denied SSDI Applicants
Summary   Slides

The NBER Retirement Research Center, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR), and the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center (MRRC) gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for this conference. The findings and conclusions are solely those of the authors and do not represent the views of SSA, any agency of the federal government, the NBER Retirement Research Center, CRR, or MRRC.

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us