Professor Kenneth Couch of the University of Connecticut Department of Economics recently received Federal funding of his research regarding possible adjustments of Social Security Retirement Benefits for differential longevity.
The population of the United States is living longer but gains in longevity have been unequal across income groups and this affects lifetime benefit receipt over successive generations of Americans. Funding from the Social Security Administration supports research by Couch and his collaborators into potential approaches for adjusting benefits to account for these changes.
The most recently released (2017) Journal Citation Reports (JCR) 2-Year Impact Factor for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM) is 3.42.
Based on the 2-Year Impact Factor, the journal has been ranked in the top 3 journals of Public Administration for 7 of the last 10 years including for the past 5 consecutive years. In economics, the journal has been ranked in the top 40 journals for 5 of the last 10 years, including the last 3 consecutive years and in the top 50 journals in economics for 8 of the last 10 years.
JPAM is the journal of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM). The University of Connecticut serves as the institutional host for the journal which is edited by Professor Ken Couch.
Professor Kenneth Couch has made research presentations during the 2017 Spring semester at the Pew Research Center in Washington DC, the Wagner School at New York University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the Michigan Retirement Research Consortium at the University of Michigan.
In each seminar Professor Couch discussed his research on the implications of rising longevity on Social Security programs. The research considers widely discussed reforms to the system to adjust benefit receipt in response to changing longevity and the distributional impacts of potential changes.
Professor Ken Couch and his collaborator, Barbara Smith, of the Social Security Administration (SSA) gave a presentation along with a select group of researchers invited to appear at a one-day symposium at the U.S. Treasury in Washington, DC on Financial Security Research. The research Couch and Smith presented focused on the impact of informational outreach by the SSA on retirement behavior in contrast to changes in the SSA retirement system itself.
Other presenters included faculty from Ohio State University, Penn, UCLA, USC, the University of Michigan and researchers from the Brookings Institution, the Upjohn Institute and the Employment Benefit Research Institute. The Acting Commissioner of SSA was in attendance along with many Assistant and Deputy Commissioners and Secretaries of SSA and Treasury.
The work of University of Connecticut Professors William Alpert, Kenneth Couch, and Oskar Harmon, entitled “A Randomized Assessment of Online Learning”, appears in the May issue of the American Economic Review. The paper was selected for inclusion in the Papers and Proceedings issue after being submitted in response to a national call for papers on economic education.
The study provides the fourth randomized examination of online versus face-to-face education ever conducted for a semester length college course. In this case, the course studied was microeconomic principles. The study shows that students in a face-to-face course did about half a letter grade better than students in a purely online course developed consistent with best practices for online education. The study finds that there are no meaningful differences in performance when comparing students in a course with a blended versus face-to-face format.
During the spring semester, Professor Kenneth Couch has made research presentations at the University of Michigan, Northeastern University, and SUNY-Albany.
Professor Couch has published a number of recent articles on the topic of Life Course Events and summarized that research in his presentations at Northeastern and SUNY-Albany. At Michigan, Professor Couch and his co-author presented their research regarding the impact of Social Security earnings statements on individual retirement timing as part of the Michigan Retirement Research Consortium (MRRC) annual meeting. The MRRC annual meeting is an invitation only conference for leading and emerging scholars working on issues related to the Social Security retirement benefit system.
Professor Kenneth Couch has received a research grant from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Couch will work with research staff at SSA to develop micro-simulation models that consider potential adjustments to the Social Security retirement benefit structure in response to increased longevity of Americans. A key concern is distributional equity of benefits for groups with shorter life expectancies and disproportionate rates of poverty.
The Provost’s office at the University of Connecticut regularly recognizes faculty members with excellent teaching evaluations commending them as achieving “excellence in teaching”.
A number of faculty members in the economics department have received this recognition in the past year: Professors Talia Bar, Ken Couch, Delia Furtado, Paul Hallwood, Olivier Morand, Susan Randolph, Kathy Segerson, Mikhael Shor, Owen Svalestad, and Jackie Zhao.
Congratulations to these economics faculty for their important contributions to the educational mission of UConn!
Huanan Xu, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics, has accepted a tenure track faculty position in the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics at Indiana University South Bend.
The Leighton School offers M.B.A. degrees as well as other Masters level programs. IU South Bend has an enrollment of roughly 7,000 undergraduate and 550 graduate students.
Huanan’s thesis committee consists of Ken Couch (Chair), Delia Furtado, and Rob Fairlie (Cal-Santa Cruz).
Matthew Ross, an Economics graduate student at UConn, has just accepted a three-year post-doctoral position at Ohio State University.
The position is part of a project jointly funded by the NSF and the NIH. Principal Investigators for the project include Joshua Hawley (John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State), Julia Lane (Wagner School of Public Affairs at NYU), Jason Owen-Smith (Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan) and Bruce Weinberg (Department of Economics, Ohio State University). Ross’s thesis committee consists of Ken Couch (Chair), Delia Furtado, and Subhash Ray.