NBER Launches Retirement and Disability Research Center
The NBER is pleased to announce the establishment of the NBER Retirement and Disability Research Center (RDRC). Launched in September 2018, the NBER RDRC is funded by a cooperative agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA) through its Retirement and Disability Research Consortium. The new center combines two pre-existing NBER centers, the Retirement Research Center (RRC) and the Disability Research Center (DRC), which were supported by previous agreements with the SSA.
Like the three other centers in the SSA consortium, which are based at Boston College, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin, the NBER RDRC aims to conduct research on a wide array of topics related to Social Security's Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs and related federal policies. It will also disseminate information on these topics to policymakers, researchers, stakeholder organizations, and the general public, and provide training and education to scholars and practitioners in research areas relevant to these topics. The NBER RDRC will provide financial support to about two dozen research projects each year, disseminate research findings via the new NBER Bulletin on Retirement and Disability, the NBER Digest, and the NBER Working Paper series, help to organize the annual Retirement and Disability Research Consortium Conference, and offer pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training fellowships.
The NBER RDRC is led by Director Nicole Maestas, an NBER Research Associate and an Associate Professor of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School. Two other NBER Research Associates serve as Co-Directors: Jeffrey Brown (University of Illinois) and Courtney Coile (Wellesley College). Research Associates David Autor (MIT), James Choi (Yale University), and Jeffrey Liebman (Harvard Kennedy School), who formerly served on the leadership teams of the NBER RRC and DRC, serve as Scientific Advisors to the RDRC.
Nicole Maestas, a Research Associate in the NBER's Aging and Labor Studies programs, studies how the health and disability insurance systems affect individual economic behaviors, such as labor supply and the consumption of medical care. Dr. Maestas recently served on a National Academy of Medicine panel on health care utilizations of people with disabilities, a Social Security Advisory Board panel on disability policy, and she currently serves on monitoring and review committees for the Health and Retirement Study and the National Longitudinal Surveys Program. Prior to joining Harvard, Dr. Maestas was a senior economist at the RAND Corporation. She received a PhD in economics from UC Berkeley, a MPP from UC Berkeley's Goldman School, and a BA from Wellesley College.
Jeffrey Brown is Dean of Gies College of Business and Josef and Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is also a Research Associate in the NBER's Aging and Public Economics programs. His research focuses on public and private insurance markets, including Social Security, pensions, annuities and other retirement-income issues. Dr. Brown serves as a trustee for TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services company, and currently chairs the TIAA investment committee. He is a former member of the Social Security Advisory Board and served on the 2015 Social Security Technical Panel. Dr. Brown was previously on the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School. He received a PhD in economics from MIT, a MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a BA from Miami University.
Courtney Coile is Professor of Economics at Wellesley College and a Research Associate of the NBER's Aging program. She is the Co-Director of the NBER's International Social Security project and the editor of the NBER Bulletin on Retirement and Disability. Her research focuses on the economics of aging, particularly the economics of the retirement decision. Dr. Coile recently served on a National Academy of Sciences panel on the long-run economic implications of an aging U.S. population and currently serves on the Data Monitoring Committee of the Health and Retirement Study. She received a PhD in economics from MIT and an AB from Harvard University.