Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Saturday, October 5, 2019

2nd year of funding supports research on financial vulnerability

J. Michael Collins J. Michael Collins

The Center for Financial Security Retirement and Disability Research Center (CFS RDRC) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison received a second year of funding from the US Social Security Administration (SSA). One of just four RDRCs in the country supported by SSA, UW–Madison’s is the only one focusing on the financial well-being of economically vulnerable families, older people, people with disabilities, low-wealth households, and children.

“As the newest of the RDRCs, this award is a testament both to the exceptional research and programming SSA saw us accomplish in our first year of operating and also to the SSA’s commitment to state and federal policy solutions that serve our country’s most vulnerable people and families,” said CFS Director J. Michael Collins, the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Science at the School of Human Ecology and Professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

This year’s award funds 12 major research projects, including two by La Follette School faculty, in addition to renewed support for the Junior Scholars in Training (JSIT) program, which instructs and mentors early-career researchers and junior faculty in the retirement and disability policy fields. Along with the overall funding renewal, CFS also announced the five scholars from the summer 2019 JSIT program who each won a $5,000 research award to seed projects they developed after their week-long summer intensive workshop in Madison.

Researchers and projects receiving funding within the CFS RDRC for 2019-2020 are:

  • Nursing Home Use Expectations and Wealth Accumulation Among the Elderly – Yang Wang, La Follette School, UW–Madison; Padmaja Ayyagari, Department of Economics, University of South Florida
  • Social Security Disability Insurance and Intergenerational Economic Mobility – Jason Fletcher, La Follette School, UW–Madison; Katie Jajtner, Center for Demography of Health and Aging, UW–Madison
  • Employer Incentives in Return-to-Work Programs: Evidence from Workers’ Compensation – Corina Mommaerts and Naoki Aizawa, Department of Economics, UW–Madison; Stephanie Rennane, RAND Corporation
  • Lost and Found: Claiming Behavior in Abandoned Retirement Accounts – Anita Mukherjee, Wisconsin School of Business; Corina Mommaerts, Department of Economics, UW–Madison
  • Educational Opportunity and Patterns of Participation in SSI and DI – Eric Grodsky, Department of Sociology, UW–Madison; Amanda Bosky, Center for Financial Security, UW–Madison; John Robert Warren, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota; Chandra L. Muller, Department of Sociology, University of Texas–Austin
  • Trends in Conversations about SSDI in Online Forums – Nancy Wong and Lydia Ashton, School of Human Ecology, UW–Madison
  • Local Variation in Housing Assistance Programs and SSI Takeup by People with Disabilities – Erik A. Hembre, Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago; Carly Urban, Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University
  • Declining Economic Opportunity, Rates of Opioid Overdose Mortality, and Disability Receipt – Atheendar S. Venkataramani, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; Rourke O’Brien, Department of Sociology, Yale University
  • The Demographics Behind Aging in Place: Implications for Supplemental Security Income Eligibility and Receipt – Mary K. Hamman, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
  • Home Ownership and Housing Debt in Retirement: Financial Asset for Consumption Smoothing or Albatross around the Neck of Retirees? – Jason Fichtner, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  • Housing Wealth and Economic Security in Retirement: Does Borrowing from Home Equity Increase Adherence to Prescription Drugs? – Stephanie Moulton, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, Ohio State University; Donald Haurin, Department of Economics, Ohio State University; Cӓzilia Loibl, Department of Human Sciences, Ohio State University
  • Caregiving and Labor Force Participation: New Evidence from the Americna Time Use Survey – Yulya Truskinovsky, Department of Economics, Wayne State University; Nicole Maestas, Blavatnik Institute of Medical Policy, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University

–Written by Serena Larkin