James P. Smith (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1972) holds the RAND Chair in Labor Markets and Demographic Studies and was the Director of RAND's Labor and Population Studies Program from 1977-1994. He has led numerous projects, including studies of immigration, the economics of aging, black-white wages and employment, the effects of economic development on labor markets, wealth accumulation and savings behavior, and the interrelation of health and economic status among the elderly. He has also worked on a wide range of other projects, including analyses of wrongful death cases, the labor supply effects of income maintenance programs, the market for college graduates, and economic development in Southeast Asia. He is currently Principal Investigator for The New Immigrant Survey, a cost-effective survey that yields adequate sample size of the foreign born, has known sampling properties, permits longitudinal analyses, and can answer policy questions of particular relevance to immigration.
Dr. Smith was the Chair of the Panel on Demographic and Economic Impacts of Immigration (1995-1997), Committee on Population and Committee on National Statistics, National Academy of Sciences. The Panel was convened to examine the interconnections of immigration, population, and the economy, and to provide evidence about the impact of immigration. Dr. Smith has served on the National Advisory Board for the Poverty Institute and on the Population Research Committee at the National Institutes of Health. He chaired the National Institute on Aging's Ad Hoc Advisory Panel on NIA's Extramural Priorities for Data Collection in Health and Retirement Economics and currently serves on the NIA Data Monitoring Committee for both the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) and Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest-Old (AHEAD).
Smith has written a number of papers on the quality of asset data in both HRS and AHEAD and racial and ethnic differences in personal net worth, Social Security, and pension wealth. He is a member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID); and was the public representative appointed by the Governor on the California OSHA Board. He has received the National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, the most distinguished honor NIH grants to a researcher.
He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in February 2004.