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Home > For the Media Home > Biosketches > By Topic > Near Elderly Population

Biosketches - Near Elderly Population

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Research on the Near Elderly Population addresses certain aspects of health insurance coverage that are more acute as people approach retirement age.
Benitez-Silva, Hugo
Bhattacharya, Jay
Bound, John
Brown, Charles
Garrett, Bowen
Haveman, Robert
Keenan, Patricia

Madrian, Brigette
Rust, John
Schoenbaum, Michael L.
Vistnes, Jessica
Weir, David R.
Willis, Robert J.

Hugo Benítez-Silva obtained his M.A., M.Ph., and Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University in December 2000. His research includes contributions to the analyses of disability programs in the United States, dynamic life-cycle models of annuity and portfolio decisions with an emphasis on modeling the effects of uncertainty in wage income and capital investments, the study of retirement expectations, and the labor supply effects of the early retirement rules. His current work includes the estimation of a dynamic structural life-cycle model of retirement and disability, a dynamic analyzes of job search behavior among older Americans, and the connection between automobile recalls and accidents. His research projects have received support from the Michigan Retirement Research Center, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the TIAA-CREF Institute, the National Institute of Aging, and the Economic Research Initiative for the Uninsured through the RWJ Foundation. His research has been published in journals like the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Applied Econometrics, and Labour Economics.

Jay Bhattacharya is an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University. Jay finished his M.D. in 1997 and was awarded his Ph.D. in 2000 on the subject of physician wages in the United States. Bhattacharya's research interests can best be summarized as the microeconometric analysis of health and health care for special populations. He has published empirical economics and health services research papers on the elderly, on adolescents, on HIV patients, on the disabled, on injured workers, and on managed care experts. Most recently, he has done work on the regulation of viatical settlements market, which is a secondary life insurance market popular among HIV patients, and on summer-winter differences in nutritional outcomes for poor American families.

John Bound, Professor of Economics, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and joined the faculty at Michigan in 1987. He is interested in labor economics, demography and econometrics. Professor Bound is also a Research Associate of the Population Studies Center and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His current research interests include work on the economic and health status of minority populations in the U.S. and the effects of transfer programs on behavior and economic well being. He has also worked on issues regarding changes in the wage structure over time and on the validity of survey data. His teaching centers on econometrics and labor economics.

Charles Brown is an empirically-oriented labor economist. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1974, and taught at the University of Maryland from 1975 to 1985. In 1985 he came to the University of Michigan as Professor of Economics, and Research Scientist in the Survey Research Center. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research has focused on a wide range of topics such as compensating differentials, effects of minimum wage laws and of EEO policies, the determinants of enlistment and re-enlistment in the military, the relationship between employer size and labor market outcomes, and measurement error in survey data. Current work focuses early-retirement "windows," and consequences of the relatively equal opportunity in the military for children of black soldiers.

Dr. Bowen Garrett is a Senior Research Associate in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. He is currently leading research projects on the effects of recession on insurance coverage, racial and ethnic disparities in health care access and utilization, and Medicare's new prospective payment system for inpatient psychiatric facilities. He is also working with a team of researchers on ways to improve Medicare's prospective payment system for skilled nursing home facilities. His recent publications examined the health insurance coverage implications of leaving welfare, the effects of Medicaid managed care on health services access and use, the effects of welfare policies and economic factors on Medicaid caseloads, and policy interactions between the Supplemental Security Income and Aid to Families with Dependent Children programs.

Before joining the Urban Institute in 1998, Dr. Garrett was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Scholars in Health Policy Research Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Garrett obtained his Ph.D. in 1996 from the Department of Economics at Columbia University, with specializations in econometrics and labor economics.

Robert Haveman is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Public Affairs and Research Affliliate at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published widely in the fields of public finance, the economics of environmental and natural resources policy, benefit-cost analysis, and the economics of poverty and social policy. Recent publications include Succeeding Generations: On the Effects of Investments in Children. Current projects include work on the discrepancy in reported earnings in surveys compared to administrative records, on the adequacy of savings of older workers beginning retirement, and on implications of increased economic inequality for human capital in the future. He is an award-winning teacher, who continues to teach at the La Follette School, of which he was director from 1988 to 1991. He was director of the Institute for Research on Poverty from 1971 to 1975.

Professor Haveman has served as senior economist, Subcommittee on Economy in Government, Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress. He was a fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation and, on two occasions, a research associate at Resources for the Future. In 2003, he and co-authors Andrew Bershadker and Jonathan A. Schwabish published the book Human Capital in the United States from 1975 to 2000: Patterns of Growth and Utilization (Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute for Employment Research). His work has appeared in the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and Journal of the American Statistical Association.

He received his doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University.

Patricia Seliger Keenan is a postdoctoral fellow in Aging and Health Economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Next year, she will be an assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health. She received a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University in 2005. Her research focuses on health insurance markets, aging policy, and health care regulation and politics.

Brigitte Madrian is an Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School where she holds the Boettner Chair in Financial Gerontology. Before coming to Wharton in 2003, she was a faculty member at the University of Chicago (1995-2003) and Harvard University (1993-1995). She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources.

Dr. Madrian's research focuses on employee benefits and social insurance programs, particularly retirement savings plans and health insurance. Her current research focuses on the relationship between 401(k) plan design and employee saving outcomes. She has also examined the impact of health insurance on the job choice and retirement decisions of employees and the hiring decisions of firms.

Dr. Madrian received her Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and studied economics as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University. She is the recipient of the National Academy of Social Insurance Dissertation Prize (first place, 1994) and the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Scholarly Research on Lifelong Financial Security (2002).

John Rust is Professor of Economics at University of Maryland. He was previously a Professor of Economics at Yale University from 1996 to 2001 and a Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin from 1983 to 1995. Rust received his PhD from MIT in 1983, specializing in applied econometrics. His research has focused on the development of computationally tractable methods for empirically modeling dynamic decision making under uncertainty. Over the last decade Rust has been involved in several applications of these methods to the empirical analysis of retirement behavior. Rust is currently working on building a comprehensive integrated model of social insurance at the end of the life cycle for use in policy evaluation. Given the rapid growth in the Social Security disability program, his most recent work has focused on integrating disability insurance into a model of retirement behavior, and understanding the impacts of the disability appeals process modeled as a “game” between applicants and the government. Rust is currently working with a team of researchers to develop a dynamic programming model of behavior at the end of the life cycle that includes a detailed treatment of U.S. Social Security policy including the Old Age, Survivors, Medicare and Disability Insurance programs.

Rust's research on retirement behavior is internationally recognized. He was an advisor to the Steering Committee that designed the forthcoming Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), which will represent the key source of data for research on health retirement issues in the coming decade. Rust is a member of the Long Term Modeling Advisory Panel at the Congressional Budget Office and he has served as a member of the Economics Panel of the National Science Foundation and the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academy of Science, as a member of the Panel on Retirement Income Modeling. In September 2000, Rust was appointed to a panel of consultants to the Social Security Administration to advise it on the design of demonstration projects mandated under the 1999 Ticket to Work Act and the Work Incentives Improvement Act.

Michael Schoenbaum (PhD in Economics, University of Michigan, 1995) is a health and labor economist at the RAND Corporation. He is currently leading analyses of the Palestinian health system, to identify policy options for improving clinical performance and economic viability; and he is leading economic analyses for several large-scale trials to improve care for depresssion. His research has included analyses of the costs and benefits of interventions to improve health care quality, evaluated from the perspectives of patients, providers, taxpayers and society; of the effectiveness of public health interventions, including infant nutrition, immunization, and community healthworker programs; of the social epidemiology and economic consequences of chronic illness and disability; and of health risk behavior, particularly cigarette smoking. Dr. Schoenbaum is also co-developer of RAND's Health Cost and Flexible Spending Account Calculators, web-based modeling and decision-support tools to help consumers make health benefits choices. Prior to joining RAND in 1997, Dr. Schoenbaum spent two years at the University of California, Berkeley, as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in health policy. He is based in RAND's Washington office.

Jessica Vistnes is a Senior Economist in the Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Her research focuses on Employment-related health insurance coverage, the health insurance status of the U.S. population, the demand for Medigap insurance, and children's health care utilization. Her publications have appeared in Health Affairs, the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Inquiry, the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, the Journal of Human Resources, the National Tax Journal, Medical Care and Medical Care Research and Review. She joined AHRQ in 1989 after receiving a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.

David R. Weir (Ph.D., Economics, Stanford University, 1983; A.B. History, University of Michigan, 1976) is Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan, and co-Director of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Prior to joining ISR, he was Research Associate in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and the recipient of a Special Emphasis Research Career Award in the Economics and Demography of Aging from NIA entitled “Economic Aspects of Chronic Disease.” Prior to that he was Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University, working on economic history and historical demography, primarily of Europe. His current research interests include the measurement of health-related quality of life; the use of biological and performance measures in surveys; the role of supplemental health insurance in the Medicare population; the effects of health, gender, and marital status on economic well-being in retirement; and the effects of early-life experience on longevity and health at older ages.

Robert J. Willis, is Professor of Economics and Senior Research Scientist in the Survey Research Center and Population Studies Center of the Institute for Social Research. He is the Principal Investigator for the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal survey of over 22,000 persons over age 50 in the United States, which is supported by the National Institute on Aging. Professor Willis received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1971. He joined the University of Michigan in 1995 and holds joint appointments with the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research and the Population Studies Center. Before coming to Michigan, Professor Willis held appointments at the University of Chicago, SUNY at Stony Brook, and Stanford University. He was winner this year of the Mindel Sheps Award from the Population Association of America for outstanding contributions to mathematical demography and is currently President-elect of the Midwest Economics Association. He has served on a number of advisory boards including, currently, StatAEA, the Board of Visitors of the Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College, and the Technical Review Panel of the National Longitudinal Studies. Professor Willis' research interests include labor economics, economic demography, economic development and the economics of aging. He is currently working on the relationship between cognition and wealth, studying the influence of probabilistic thinking on savings behavior using the HRS. He has also been active in promoting international development of data bases on health, aging and retirement in Europe and elsewhere.