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Faculty experts

Social Security

Richard M. Abrams
Professor of the Graduate School
Phone: (510) 642-2611 or (510) 527-0462
Email: abramsr@berkeley.edu
Expertise: Recent U.S. history, industrialization and globalization. Can compare social security programs in industrialized countries.

Alan J. Auerbach
UC Berkeley professor of economics and law, director of UC Berkeley's Burch Center on Tax Policy and Public Finance. Auerbach has served as deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation and as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Phone: (510) 643-0711
Email: auerbach@econ.berkeley.edu
Expertise: Tax and fiscal policy

Jonathan Berk
Harold Furst Associate Professor of Management Philosophy and Values in the Haas School of Business Finance Group
Phone: (510) 642-3364
Email: berk@haas.berkeley.edu
Expertise: Investment decisions, portfolio management, market "anomalies," information revelation in stock prices, and evaluation and performance of active portfolio managers

Neil Gilbert
UC Berkeley professor of social welfare, director of the Center for Comparative Family Welfare and Poverty Research, co-director of the Center for Child and Youth Policy
Phone: (510) 642-4362
Email: ngilbert@berkeley.edu
Expertise: The design and evaluation of social service delivery systems

George Lakoff
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics
Phone: (510) 643-7616
Email: lakoff@cogsci.berkeley.edu
Expertise: Cognitive linguistics, conceptual systems, conceptual metaphor, syntax-semantics-pragmatics and the application of cognitive linguistics to politics, literature, philosophy and mathematics

Lakoff says conservatives have been trying for years to destroy Social Security. They believe such social programs remove the need for discipline and create dependency, he says, and that businesses benefit if they can capture Medicare and Social Security money as investments in companies rather than in the people whose health and futures are insured.

Ronald Lee
Professor of economics and demography, chair of UC Berkeley's Center for the Demography and Economics of Aging, member of the National Advisory Council on Aging
Phone: (510) 642-4535
Email: rlee@demog.berkeley.edu
Expertise: Demographics of aging, Social Security, U.S. Census data

Lee is an expert on forecasting aging, measuring long-term Social Security finances, the impact of immigration on Social Security, and how the program compares with similar efforts in other developed nations.

He has testified before the Senate Budget Committee and was an advisor to the Social Security Administration for his work on forecasting aging. After his work suggested that Social Security forecasts of future life expectancy were too low, Social Security actuaries raised their projections and now differ little from his projections.

David I. Levine
Professor in the Haas School of Business Economic Analysis and Policy Group and Haas Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations Group
Phone: (510) 642-1697
Email: levine@haas.berkeley.edu
Expertise: The impact of Social Security on the economy, wage determination, worker participation in the United States and in international settings, and obstacles to good management

Levine says that the United States faces a serious crisis paying for baby boomers' retirement. Reducing payments into Social Security does nothing to increase national savings or to address that long-term problem, he says.

Daniel McFadden
Professor of the Graduate School, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Economics, president of the American Economic Association, 2005
Phone: (510) 643-8428
Email: mcfadden@econ.berkeley.edu
Expertise: Economics and choice theory, health and welfare economics, economic growth and development, consumption and savings of the elderly.

Terrance Odean
Rudd Family Foundation professor of finance in the Haas School of Business
Phone: (510) 642-6767
Email: odean@haas.berkeley.edu
Expertise: Behavioral finance, investor behavior, day-trading and mutual funds

Robert Reich
Professor of public policy
Phone: (510) 642-0560
Email: rreich@berkeley.edu
Expertise: Political economy, labor markets, industrial policy

Reich says Social Security is financially sound through the 21st century.

Andrew Scharlach
UC Berkeley professor of aging
Phone: (510) 642-0126
Email: scharlac@berkeley.edu
Expertise: Aging services and issues; caregiving; work/family issues; death, dying, and bereavement.

Scharlach says that older adults may represent the greatest untapped and underutilized resource our country has. By revaluing what elders have to offer, and facilitating opportunities for them to make productive contributions through paid and unpaid employment, it may be possible to lessen current dependence upon Social Security.