Researchers working within the Life-Cycle Economics Program at the Survey Research Center conduct analytical economic research based on the life-cycle model and other similar formulations. The life-cycle model is designed to characterize household behavior in response to aging. The model describes a typical household's life course: generally earnings rise with age until retirement; consumption per capita tends to increase gradually with age. To maintain its consumption expenditure after retirement, a household must rely on Social Security and pension resources together with private savings. The model's quintessential idea is that a household will save in its peak earning years of middle age in anticipation of a need for assets to support its consumption during retirement. The life-cycle model provides an organizing framework for thinking about many scientific and public policy issues.

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