MRRC Director John Laitner recaps the spring workshop

Headshot of M.R..RC. Director John Laitner

The Michigan Retirement Research Center held its annual researcher workshop on March 23 and 24, 2018. As in recent years, we used space at the Ross School of Business, at the University of Michigan. This workshop has only plenary sessions and specializes in short talks, each followed by an equal-length discussion from the floor. We were able to accommodate 30 such presentations, out of 52 registrants.

The workshop provides the MRRC with an opportunity to meet with, and hear from, new invitees, as well as established members of our research team. This year, we had 16 first-time attendees, including six University of Michigan graduate students. Among the 30 paper presenters, seven were new. For example, we welcomed Magali Barbieri, a demographer from Berkeley, to the workshop for the first time – see the accompanying write-up.

Following the announcement that SSA will in the future combine its separate RRC centers covering retirement and disability-related topics, we included a session on disability and Supplemental Security Income. We also invited Andrew Houtenville, Director of Research, Institute for Disability, University of New Hampshire, to give a lunchtime presentation. And, likewise Susan Leonard and Alison Stroud, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, University of Michigan, talked at lunch about recent developments at ICPSR supporting research on disability.

The presentations and lunchtime talks are off-the-record and frequently provide helpful guidance for work in progress. The mixture of senior and more junior researchers, as well as the format stressing interaction between speakers and audience, has regularly proven efficient and stimulating for all participants.

Read more workshop coverage in the latest newsletter.

— John Laitner