NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health

NBER Profile: Andrew Samwick

Andrew Samwick

Andrew Samwick is a Research Associate in the NBER's Programs on Aging and Public Economics and the co-chair of the NBER's Social Security Working Group. He is the Sandra L. and Arthur L. Irving '72a, P'10 Professor of Economics and Director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College.

Samwick served as the Chief Economist on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers in 2003-04. He has testified several times before Congress on social security's financial condition and its possible reform, and in 1999 and 2011, he served on the Social Security Advisory Board's Technical Panel on Assumptions and Methods. He is an editor of Economics Letters and blogs about economics and current events at Capital Gains and Games (

Samwick's research interests are in the areas of pensions and saving, executive compensation, taxation and portfolio choice, and social security. In recent work, he and Dartmouth and NBER co-author Erzo Luttmer investigate the welfare costs of perceived political uncertainty in social security. Through the use of an original internet survey, they show that on average households would be willing to forego 4-6 percent of the benefits they are supposed to get under current law to remove the political uncertainty associated with their future benefits. In current work, he is comparing the efficiency and equity properties of means-testing federal health entitlement benefits based on current income to alternatives based on concepts of lifetime average income that underlie the calculation of social security benefits.

Samwick received his A.B. in Economics summa cum laude from Harvard College and his Ph.D. in Eco-nomics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a visiting professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business. In 2009, he was selected as the New Hampshire Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Samwick lives in Norwich, Vermont, with his wife, Terry, and their two children. They enjoy skiing down nearby mountains when they are covered with snow and hiking up them when they are not. Samwick serves as a trustee of the Montshire Museum of Science and a director of the Hanover Conservancy and the Ledyard Financial Group (LFGP).

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