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Main photo Promoting research on retirement and Social Security policy

Volume 16, Issue 2 - June 2016

MRRC Researcher News

In March, MRRC Director John Laitner joined Jeremy Hobson, host of NPR’s midday news program Here & Now, for a discussion of Social Security’s solvency and how people can better prepare for retirement. Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, also participated. The 10-minute segment may be heard here.

University College London’s University for Fiscal Studies researchers Eric French, Richard Blundell, Rowena Crawford, and Gemma Tetlow had their 2015 MRRC project, “Comparing Retirement Wealth Trajectories on Both Sides of the Pond,” published in the March 2016 online edition of Fiscal Studies. The article was part of a special issue on household wealth data and public policy.

Amanda Sonnega, assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, added perspective to a March 31 Bloomberg article, “Why Everybody Loves Seniors on Airbnb.” “Flexibility is a major factor in whether someone will continue working later in life,” Sonnega told Bloomberg. The story was picked up by the Santa Fe New Mexican, the travel site, Skift, among other news outlets.

University of Michigan health economist Thomas Buchmueller was interviewed by The New York Times business reporter Reed Abelson for an article on how the Affordable Care Act has—or rather, hasn’t –affected employer health coverage. “The [ACA] exchanges have been less of a disrupter than I expected,” Buchmueller told the Times. Buchmueller and U-M research scientist Helen Levy have a 2016 MRRC project investigating the ACA’s effects on retirement.

Olivia S. Mitchell wrote an opinion piece for MarketWatch on lump-sum Social Security payments. “In our experimental survey, we found people would delay claiming benefits for about half a year, and they would work about a third to a half of the extra time. All of that takes place without costing Social Security a penny.”

This spring, The Ohio State University’s Stephanie Moulton has had her research on reverse mortgages featured in Consumer Reports and MarketWatch. Reverse mortgages still carry risks, but recent policy changes make them safer for senior borrowers. Moulton told MarketWAtch, “One of the advantages of the federally insured reverse mortgage, the HECM, is that the government assumes some of the risk for the borrower.”

David Neumark was featured the PBS News Hour’s January 14, 2016, piece, “Women Over 50? Help Not Wanted.” Reporter Paul Soloman interviewed Neumark on his large-scale resume correspondence study (UM 16-04), which provides direct measures of discrimination in hiring. Visit the PBS site to see the piece or read the transcript. Neumark also wrote an April opinion piece based on the study for the Los Angeles Times,Do women face age discrimination in the job market? Absolulely. Here’s proof.”