Professor Ronald Lee holds an M.A. in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. He spent a postdoctoral year at the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED, France). After teaching for eight years at the University of Michigan in the Economics Department and working at the Populations Studies Center, he joined Demography at Berkeley in 1979, with a joint appointment in Economics. He currently holds the Edward G. and Nancy S. Jordan Endowed Chair in Economics. He has taught courses here in economic demography, population theory, population and economic development, demographic forecasting, population aging, immigration, indirect estimation, and research design, as well as a number of pro-seminars. Professor Lee is the Director of the Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging at U.C. Berkeley, funded by the National Institute of Aging.
Honors include Presidency of the Population Association of America, the Mindel C. Sheps Award for research in Mathematical Demography, the PAA Irene B. Taeuber Award for outstanding contributions in the field of demography, an Honorary Doctorate, honoriscausa, from Lund University, Sweden. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a Corresponding member of the British Academy. He has held NIA MERIT Awards continuously from 1994 through 2013. He has chaired the population and social science study section for NIH and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Population, and has served on both the National Advisory Committee on Aging (NIA Council) and the NICHD Council. In 2010-2012 he co-chairs a panel of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council on the Long term macroeconomic effects of population aging.
His current research focuses on intergenerational transfers and population aging. He co-directs with Andrew Mason the National Transfer Accounts project (NTA), which currently includes 36 collaborating countries. NTA estimates age patterns of labor income, consumption, savings, and public and private transfers, and the sources of economic support for children and older people. NTA sheds light on the economic consequences of changing population age distributions, particularly population aging. A separate project investigates the interrelations between intergenerational transfers and the evolution of life histories through natural selection. He continues to work on modeling and forecasting demographic time series and government budgets including Social Security. He enjoys tennis and hiking.
He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in February 2012.