Ageing in the U.S.: The Health and Retirement Study

TitleAgeing in the U.S.: The Health and Retirement Study
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWillis, RJ
EditorKemp, PA, Van den Bosch, K, Smith, L
Book TitleSocial Protection in and Ageing World (International Series on Social Security)
CityPortland, OR
Call Numbernewpubs20081205_Willis_Ageing.pdf

In this paper, I attempt to describe from both historical and analytical standpoints how and why the HRS began and how and why it has evolved into an interdisciplinary and international scientific project of major significance both for basic science and for public policy.The spread ofthe HRSmodel internationally has not been the result of top-down agreements among governments. Rather, in analogy with open source software such as Linux, the HRS design and content provides researchers with a platform that can be used as a template to develop surveys in their own countries to address scientific and policy questions of both local and general significance. Each of the international studies has found it in its self-interest to be as comparable as possible to the HRS and to one another because, by being comparable, each country can use data from other countries as natural experiments to explore the implications of alternative policies. American researchers, for example, are interested in the implications of alternative forms of financing and delivering health care that have been developed in England and continental Europe. Were data available, American health insurance researchers would be especially interested in Canada.


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Endnote Keywords

HRS content and design

Endnote ID


Short TitleAgeing in the U.S.: The Health and Retirement Study
Citation Key5223