Robert F. Schoeni

Bob Schoeni recognized with U-M Research Faculty Achievement Award

Honors Archive

"Top U-M faculty recognized for teaching, scholarship" - University Record. 10/5/2009.

Research Faculty
Achievement Award,
Robert Schoeni
Robert Schoeni, research
professor, Survey Research
Center, Population Studies
Center, ISR; professor of
economics, Department of
Economics, LSA; and professor
of public policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public
Policy, is a scientist whose vision
has facilitated the collection
and dissemination of the
most influential data available
in the social sciences.
Not only have his individual
scientific contributions been
considerable; even more importantly,
his leadership on
the widely used Panel Survey
of Income Dynamics has
provided the tools and ideas
necessary for an entire generation
of scholars to move
forward on economic and
demographic research.
An economist and demographer,
Schoeni has become
more interdisciplinary over
time, bringing to bear the
methods and knowledge
of different disciplines to
a variety of problems. His
contributions to economics
began with work on family
transfers in which he demonstrated
that whereas during
their lifetimes parents tend
to target transfers to their
less well-off children, inheritances
tend to be divided
equally among children.
Another major area of
Schoeni’s research has
concerned the question of
whether disability among the
aged has been declining over
time.
Perhaps Schoeni’s most
important and lasting contribution
is his leadership on
the Panel Survey of Income
Dynamics (PSID), which
under his stewardship has
moved into the 21st century.
Under his guidance the PSID
has improved in content,
accessibility and usefulness,
and now is the key instrument
in a growing number
of important projects. He has
shaped the survey’s content
and in doing so has shaped
much future research in the
social sciences.
The PSID recently has
expanded scientific inquiries
into the strong connections
between health and socioeconomic
phenomena over
the entire life course, from
childhood to later life stages.
Schoeni has worked with
the PSID’s team to expand
the data on consumer expenditures
and also health
status and behaviors, thus
opening up new opportunities
for advances in science.
The PSID has been named as
one of the National Science
Foundation’s “Nifty Fifty,” the
only social science project to
receive this distinction.
Schoeni serves on a National
Academy of Sciences
panel on the Census Bureau’s
Dynamics of Economic
Well-Being System, and he
founded the NIA-supported
TRENDS Research Network,
whose mission is to foster
collaborative research around
the world by conducting research
and evaluating trends
in old-age disability.

Researchers:

Robert F. Schoeni

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