Labor Supply, Pension and Health Insurance

In the last few decades, the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Chile, and several other countries have witnessed a changing pension landscape driven by shifts from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution pension plans. At the same time, there has been an increased focus towards expanding health insurance coverage by governments in different countries. By providing a quasi-natural experimental setting, these changes often provide a valuable laboratory for research in understanding the effect of pensions and health insurance programs on different economic outcomes. I exploit these exogenous changes (from the point of individual’s decision making) in my research in two important ways: first, for identifying some key economic mechanisms and second, for understanding the quantitative effect of these programs on labor supply, savings, and social welfare. Some specific research projects in these directions are as follows:

Published Papers:

"Pension Plan Heterogeneity and Retirement Behavior"; European Economic Review (2019), Vol. 116, pp. 28-59

"The Macroeconomic and Welfare Implications of Rural Health Insurance and Pension Reforms in China"; (with Ray Miller, David Canning and Akshar Saxena); Journal of the Economics of Ageing (2018), Vol. 11, pp. 71-92

Working Paper:

"Informal Caregiving, Family Power Dynamics, and Labor Market Rigidities” (with Ray Miller)"

Health and Inequality

I am primarily interested in understanding three different aspects of health – 1) heterogeneity within a population 2) understanding how inequalities in health and mortality translate into inequality in individual well-being and 2) dynamic evolution of health over the life-cycle. Some specific research projects in these directions are as follows:

Published Paper:

"Health Disparities and the Socioeconomic Gradient in Elderly Life-Cycle Consumption"; (with Ray Miller and David Canning ); Journal of the Economics of Ageing (In press, 2018)

Working Paper:

“Health, Longevity, and Welfare Inequality of the Elderly” (with Ray Miller); PGDA Working Paper #159.2018

"Macroeconomic Consequences of Stay-At-Home Policies During

the COVID-19 Pandemic" (with Ayşe İmrohoroğlu) Paper

Demographic Transition

Rapid mortality and fertility declines over the last five decades are projected to result in an unprecedented aging of the world population (United Nations Population Division, 2002). This phenomenon is likely to have deep macroeconomic impacts through changes in old-age dependency ratio, working age share of the population,

increased capital intensity, higher wages, etc. These issues are pervasive across different countries, although, a great amount of cross-country heterogeneity exists in both the levels and rates of population aging. Countries also differ significantly in the nature of intergenerational links, public insurance programs, population health levels, cross-border mobility of capital and labor, etc. These factors could potentially

exacerbate or partially offset the effects of aging on economic outcomes. My research interests lie in exploring these underlying mechanisms and their quantitative


Working Paper:

“The Macroeconomic Impact of Fertility Changes in an Aging Population” (with Ray Miller and Akshar Saxena); PGDA Working Paper #160.2018

Other Publications

"Causes of Death and Infant Mortality Rates Among Full-Term Births in the United States Between 2010 and 2012: An Observational Study" (with Gunther Fink); PLOS Medicine (2018), Vol. 15(3), e1002531

"Consumer Learning and the Entry of Generic Pharmaceuticals" (with Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Jeffrey McCullough and Amil Petrin); NBER Working Paper #23662.


Labor force participation of men by pension plan type.

Data Source : Health and Retirement Study


Income Gini coeffcient by age of family head, 1979-2012.

Source: Bosworth, B., Burtless, G., and Zhang, K. (2016). Data from Census Bureau's Annual Social and Economic Supplement files from the CPS. An aged head is 62 years old or older.


Population Pyramid for China for the year 2010. Source: