Robert J. Willis is Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, Research Professor of the Institute for Social Research and NBER Research Associate. Previously, he held appointments at the University of Chicago, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Stanford University. He is past Director of the Health and Retirement Study, a large-scale, nationally representative longitudinal survey of Americans over the age of 50, and currently leads a project that focuses on cognitive economics.
His research interests include labour economics, economic demography, economic development and the economics of aging. He has conducted research relating to economic behavior over the entire life-cycle, including theoretical and empirical research on fertility, marriage, divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing, education and earnings and intergenerational transfers. He is a past President of the Midwest Economics Association and the Society of Labor Economists and received the Mindel C. Sheps Award from the Population Association of America for outstanding contributions to mathematical demography or demographic methodology. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington.