Overview of the Health and Retirement Study and Introduction to the Special Issue

TitleOverview of the Health and Retirement Study and Introduction to the Special Issue
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsFisher, GG, Ryan, LH
Secondary AuthorsWang, M
JournalWork, Aging and Retirement
ISSN Number2054-4642

Twenty-five years ago, the largest academic behavioral and social science project ever undertaken in the United States began: the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The HRS is an invaluable publicly available dataset for investigating work, aging, and retirement and informing public policy on these issues. This biennial longitudinal study began in 1992 and has studied more than 43,000 individuals and produced almost 4,000 journal articles, dissertations, books, book chapters, and reports to date. The purpose of this special issue of Work, Aging and Retirement is to describe the HRS and highlight relevant research that utilizes this rich and complex dataset. First, we briefly describe the background that led to the development of the HRS. Then we summarize key aspects of the study, including its development, sampling, and methodology. Our review of the content of the survey focuses on the aspects of the study most relevant to research on worker aging and retirement. Next, we identify key strengths and important limitations of the study and provide advice to current and future HRS data users. Finally, we summarize the articles in this Special Issue (all of which use data from the HRS) and how they advance our knowledge and understanding of worker aging and retirement.

Citation Key9431