Introduction to the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) Workshop

The Health and Retirement Study ( Summer Workshop is intended to give participants an introduction to the study that will enable them to use the data for research. HRS is a large-scale longitudinal study with more than 20 years of data on the labor force participation and health transitions that individuals undergo toward the end of their work lives and in the years that follow. The HRS Summer Workshop features morning lectures on basic survey content, sample design, weighting, and restricted data files. Hands-on data workshops are held every afternoon in which participants learn to work with the data (including the user-friendly RAND version of the HRS data) under the guidance of HRS staff. Staff of the Gateway to Global Aging project (, which harmonizes data across HRS international sister studies, conduct an afternoon training. At the end of the week, students have the opportunity to present their research ideas to the class and HRS research faculty and obtain feedback. Topics include (but are not limited to) in depth information on HRS data about health insurance and medical care; biomarkers, physical measures, and genetic data; cognition; health and physical functioning; linkage to Medicare; employment, retirement, and pensions and linkage to Social Security records; psychosocial and well-being; family data; and international comparison data. The data training portion assumes some familiarity with SAS or STATA.

Instructor: Amanda Sonnega