Senior Research Associate (Economist)

Dr. Smith joined RLA in 2020 as a Senior Research Associate (Economist). Prior to that, he was a Senior Economist at RAND from 1977 to 2020 and Director of its Labor and Population Program until 1994. He has been principal investigator of numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded projects, including studies of immigration, the economics of aging, wealth accumulation and savings behavior, the relation of health and economic status, and the impacts of early life conditions on later life outcomes. He is PI of two current projects: Harmonization of Cross-National Studies of Aging to the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (R24) and Influences of Early and Later Life Events on Cognition and All-Cause Dementia in China (R01). He is a recognized intellectual leader of the HRS, having chaired the committee that established the original study design, serving as a key advisor to virtually all the HRS sister surveys around the world, chairing the HRS Data Monitoring Committee from 1991 to 2020, and publishing extensively about the existing HRS family of surveys. For the latest news about this project, see the Health and Retirement Studies Around the World harmonization project website. He was elected to National Academy of Medicine in 2011. He earned a BS in economics from Fordham University, a PhD in economics from University of Chicago, and honorary doctorates from the University of Sterling and Trinity College Dublin.

Dr. Smith passed away on Aug. 4, 2022. See RLA mourns the passing of Dr. James P. Smith to learn more about Dr. Smith’s life and career.