Henry Aaron




PhD, Economics, Harvard University; BA, UCLA

Henry Aaron

Henry J. Aaron (PhD) is currently Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. From 1990 through 1996 he was the Director of the Economic Studies Program.


Aaron taught at the University of Maryland from 1967 through 1989, except for 1977 and 1978 when he served as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He chaired the 1979 Advisory Council on Social Security. During the academic year 1996-97, he was a Guggenheim Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He is a graduate of UCLA and holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University.


He is also a member of the District of Columbia Health Benefits Exchange and is chair of the Social Security Advisory Board.  He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the advisory committee of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and the visiting committee of the Harvard Medical and Dental Schools. He was a member of the board of directors of Abt Associates and is a member of the board of directors of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  He was a founding member, vice-president, and chair of the board of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He has been vice-president and member of the executive committee of the American Economic Association and was president of the Association of Public Policy and Management. He has been a member of the boards of directors of the College Retirement Equity Fund and Georgetown University.


Aaron’s publications include: Closing the Deficit: How Much Can Later Retirement Help? (with Gary Burtless); Taxing Capital Income: Do We? Should We? Can We? (coedited with Leonard Burman and Eugene Steuerle); Can We Say No: The Challenge of Health Care Rationing (with Melissa Cox); Coping With Methuselah: The Impact of Molecular Biology on Medicine and Society (coedited with William Schwartz); Agenda for the Nation (coedited with James Lindsay and Pietro Nivola); Crisis in Tax Administration (coedited with Joel Slemrod); The Plight of Academic Medical Centers, Countdown to Reform: The Great Social Security Debate (with Robert Reischauer); and Setting National Priorities: The Year 2000 and Beyond, which he coedited. Other books include The Painful Prescription: Rationing Hospital Care (coauthored with William Schwartz); Can America Afford to Grow Old? (coauthored with Barry Bosworth and William Gale); Serious and Unstable Condition: Financing America’s Health Care; Economic Effects of Fundamental Tax Reform (coedited with William Gale); and Behavioral Aspects of Retirement Economics (editor).