Call for Papers -- Research Conference on Older Families

Sponsored by the Health and Retirement Study (HRS)


Program Co-Chairs:

  • John Henretta (University of Florida)
  • Larry Bumpass (University of Wisconsin)
  • Kathleen McGarry (UCLA)
  • Robert A. Pollak (Washington University in St. Louis)

Key Dates:

  • Conference: Early 2004
  • Paper Proposals Due: July 15, 2003
  • HRS Family Data Workshop in Ann Arbor: June 16-20, 2003
  • ISR Summer Institute: HRS Family Data Workshop

In order to encourage greater use of our family data, the Health and Retirement Study will sponsor a research conference on Older Families in early 2004. We encourage research papers exploiting the HRS panel data on family, kin, and intergenerational transfers. Users new to the HRS data are especially welcome to submit proposals. HRS is offering an introductory Family Data Workshop at ISR June 16-June 20, 2003 to help users gain familiarity with the HRS family data. Research proposals will be due a month later, July 15, 2003.

Background. The Health and Retirement Study is a biennial survey of the US population, aged 50 and over, that began in 1992. It is unusually rich in family data. It tracks changes in the structure of the vertically extended family and the individual life-cycle dynamics of respondents, their children, and their parents. Parallel data are available on the families of both spouses/partners. Transfers of time, money, and shared housing to and from HRS respondents are well represented. Each transfer is uniquely linked to a specific donor and recipient. This feature of the HRS makes it possible to create both dyadic and family histories of exchanges, including parental bequests to individual children. Data through 2000 are now available for analysis.

Family researchers may be interested in a new section of this Web site entitled Resources for Analysis of Family Data. This page brings together reference materials pertaining to HRS data content related to family issues. It contains direct links to relevant questionnaire areas, codebook content and bibliographic materials, as well as other relevant material.

In addition to family data, HRS collects information on respondentsí health, functioning, cognition, health care use, health insurance, labor force activity, and income and assets. Because of this focus, the HRS provides unique opportunities to examine complex interrelationships among the measured domains.

For example, HRS data on the kinship network and the redistribution of resources across generations of the extended family may be used to address: