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Volume 13 Issue 3 - May 2013

Director’s Corner by John P. Laitner

The MRRC conducted its annual Research Workshop on Friday and Saturday, April 19-20, in Ann Arbor. Our lunchtime speaker on Friday, Charles Blahous spoke and took Q&A via videoconference.

I look forward to the Workshop as a chance for the MRRC scholars to meet and exchange ideas. Participation in the discussion was broad and constructive. I was happy to that we could host a large number of first-time presenters. This newsletter includes brief summaries of the presentations.

One interesting session focused on Japan, which has a rapidly aging labor force and large government deficits. First-time attendee Selahattin Imrohoroglu (USC) presented a general equilibrium analysis of the deficits. Olivia S. Mitchell (Wharton) presented early findings from the Japanese version of the HRS, the JSTAR, which now has two waves of microeconomic data. And first-time presenter Kenichiro Kashiwase (IMF) discussed features of the Japanese social security system.

Another session featured the use of longitudinal data from the American Life Panel (ALP), an online high-frequency survey. The ALP gives researchers considerable latitude in framing survey questions and the ability to elicit more in-depth responses. The frequency and richness of this data offer great potential for scientific inquiry.