ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF SEVERE ECONOMIC RECESSION ON THE ELDERLY
Summary of a Workshop
Malay Majmundar, Rapporteur
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by the National Institute on Aging’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research through Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139, TO #92 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Any opinions, findings, conclusion, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization or agencies that provided support for the project.
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Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2011). Assessing the Impact of Severe Economic Recession on the Elderly: Summary of a Workshop. M. Majmundar, Rapporteur. Steering Committee on the Challenges of Assessing the Impact of Severe Economic Recession on the Elderly. Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
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STEERING COMMITTEE ON THE CHALLENGES OF ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF SEVERE ECONOMIC RECESSION ON THE ELDERLY
DUNCAN THOMAS (Chair),
Department of Economics, Duke University
ROBERT M. HAUSER,
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council, Washington, DC, and
Vilas Research Professor,
Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Madison
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California
JONATHAN S. SKINNER,
Department of Economics, Dartmouth College
Population Studies Center, University of Michigan
BARNEY COHEN, Study Director
MALAY MAJMUNDAR, Program Officer
DANIELLE JOHNSON-BLAND, Senior Program Assistant
COMMITTEE ON POPULATION
LINDA J. WAITE (Chair),
Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
Social Science Research Institute, Duke University, and School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Maryland
EILEEN M. CRIMMINS,
Department of Sociology, University of Southern California
PETER J. DONALDSON,
Population Council, New York
Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
JOSHUA R. GOLDSTEIN,
Max Planck-Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Department of Sociology, University of Washington
Department of Demography, University of Montreal
World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
Economics Department, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University
BARBARA B. TORREY, Independent Consultant,
Center for Population and Health, Georgetown University
BARNEY COHEN, Director
Although the effects of a severe economic recession can be felt by many segments of society, some groups are potentially more vulnerable than others. Older Americans represent one such group because they face significant challenges not only in adjusting their labor market participation, but also in their limited ability to alter their consumption or savings patterns.
Given the severe nature of the 2008 economic collapse, particularly in the housing market and the stock market, and given that growing numbers of Americans are nearing retirement age, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) requested the Committee on Population convene a workshop to assess the effects of severe economic recession on the elderly.
This project would not have been possible without the help of a number of people. I would particularly like to acknowledge the role played by the members of the steering committee, particularly the chair, Duncan Thomas. The steering committee played a primary role in organizing the workshop and shaping its intellectual content, although institutional procedures precluded them from participating in the writing of this workshop summary. Special thanks also go to Richard Suzman, director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at NIA, for providing essential support and encouragement.
Several staff members at the National Research Council (NRC) made significant contributions to the report: Malay Majmundar helped organize the workshop and served as rapporteur for this workshop summary, Danielle Johnson-Bland provided logistical support, Christine McShane edited the document, and Yvonne Wise managed the production process.
This workshop summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the NRC. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its products as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individuals for their review: M. Harvey Brenner, School of Public Health, University of North Texas; Andrew D. Foster, Department of Economics, Brown University; and Brigitte Madrian, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by David Lam, Department of Economics and Population Studies Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author and the institution.
Barney Cohen, Director
Committee on Population