Working Longer

Photo courtesy of Amy Hart/New York Academy of Medicine

Launched by the Foundation in 2014, the Age Smart Employer Awards honor innovative NYC employers who take full advantage of the talents, expertise, skills and commitment of older workers like Certified Nurse Practitioner Levern Jackson.

Program Goal

To expand and deepen scholarly, policy, and public understanding of the labor market activities of older Americans and to identify ways in which institutional adjustments may facilitate employment of older Americans who need or want to work beyond conventional retirement age.


Supported research topics in this program include:

  • Human Capital: Occupation, Education, Cognition, and Health
    How do the particular work history, occupation, cognitive abilities, and health of the individual impact employment for men and women after age 55?

  • Household Structure: Marriage, Divorce, Children, and Grandchildren
    How do changes in the family at older ages alter labor force activities due to intergenerational transfers of money or in-kind resources, such as housing and care?

  • Finances: Resources, Pensions, and Financial Literacy
    What roles do financial security, macroeconomic factors, and individual financial literacy play in work and retirement decisions?

  • Institutions: Social Security, Pension, Disability, and Health Insurance Regulations
    How do the important and changing regulatory aspects of the Social Security system and other institutions relate to decisions to work longer and to retire?

  • Personnel Practices: Incentives, Sorting, Compensation, Job Design, and HR Practices
    How can employers identify and implement practices that sustain or improve employee productivity as people age?

In addition, this program makes grants that attempt to:

  • Build a thriving, vital, multidisciplinary research network of labor, behavioral, and public finance economists; demographers; psychologists; and political scientists that will endure beyond the program’s timeline.
  • Train the next generation of scholars and practitioners and bring new voices and perspectives into the field.
  • Promote the collection and analysis of data on the characteristics of older workers, their employers and employment conditions, and their labor market behavior.
  • Educate stakeholders and disseminate information for decision-making through communicating impartial research findings. Partner with media and grassroots organizations with established communications networks to educate business leaders, policymakers, and the public about the results of Sloan-funded research.
  • Create issue leaders by raising the profile of individuals, businesses, municipalities, and other institutions that have successfully adopted policies, practices, or reforms that remove barriers to working longer.


Interested scholars should send a letter of inquiry of no more than two pages to program director Kathleen E. Christensen.