Social Security Research at the Michigan Retirement Research Center

The Office of Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration (SSA) created the Retirement Research Consortium (RRC) in 1998 to encourage research on topics related to Social Security and the well-being of older Americans, and to foster communication between the academic and policy communities — in particular, through an annual research conference in Washington, DC. The Michigan Retirement Research Center (MRRC) has been part of that effort for more than a decade. This article surveys a selection of MRRC output and highlights principal themes in the Center's ongoing research. Many analyses of possible Social Security reforms and related policy issues begin with the so-called “life-cycle model” of Nobel laureate Franco Modigliani (1986). It forms the conceptual framework underlying most empirical studies, and much of the research reviewed in this paper employs the life-cycle model.