The Project


The decade-long research program on working longer at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation sparked the idea for this book. The program's well-established network of researchers, gathered by Kathleen Christensen, inspired us to to think beyond the narrow financial issues of retirement, and to embrace broader questions about the dignity and meaning of work, how families affect and are affected by working longer, how work and health issues intersect for older workers, and how older adults continue to contribute in meaningful ways to their society.

In order to explore these areas deeply, we sought out a truly interdisciplinary group of researchers who could bring new perspectives, whose different disciplines could expand our collective thinking. The contributors to this resulting volume include experts in economics, sociology, psychology, organizational behavior, political science, and epidemiology. Since an important part of the Sloan Foundations’s mission has been to expand the community of research on work and aging, we invited senior scholars to recruit colleagues and junior scholars to coauthor chapters in the volume. The more junior authors in this volume inherit the job of moving the field forward.

The Advisory Board of the Working Longer program at Sloan, led by David Wise, inspired much of our thinking, and we are grateful to Oxford University Press, an organization that has supported work in the interdisciplinary areas of health equity and social determinants of health for decades.


  • Contributors meet and collaborate at conference table

    Funding for this book was predicated on the idea that good things happen when people meet, talk, then write, then meet again...

  • Contributors meet and collaborate at conference table

    Intense meetings at the Harvard Pop Center strengthened the links among chapters and created opportunities for critical review