PEDAL Lab Offers Health and Retirement Study Training at the Population Aging Research Center

On Monday, December 12 Emily Blecker, MBA, PMP, Melissa Oney, PhD, and Liz Taggert, MPH presented at the Population Aging Research Center (PARC) on the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The HRS is a biannual-household survey that provides longitudinal information on aging including income and assets, health and cognition, and demographics. It is the most comprehensive nationally representative panel study of Americans who are over the age of 50.

Ms. Blecker discussed general information in the HRS data and how to apply for the HRS restricted data, with a specific focus on the traditional license. Ms. Blecker also discussed the PEDAL Lab data security setup at Penn and the post application activities involving the HRS including audits and the annual data license renewal process.

Dr. Oney and Ms. Taggert focused on the survey structure of the HRS and provided a more detailed content overview. This included discussing the publicly available HRS data, the RAND files, and the restricted datasets with a focus on the ones that we have here at Penn. They finished by focusing on some of the resources available to help one get started working with these data.

This survey is a vital part of our research here at the PEDAL lab. Much of the research uses this important study and help us to answer pressing questions about aging in America today.

For more details about this study, please check out the HRS official website and email the HRS at