Juster, F. Thomas (Francis Thomas), 1926-

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F. Thomas Juster was born in Hollis, Long Island, New York on August 17, 1926.[1] He received his B.S. degree in Education from Rutgers University in 1949 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University in 1956. Juster's earliest professional positions included serving as a senior research analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1951 to 1953 and assistant professor at Amherst College from 1953 to 1959. From 1959 to 1973, he was on the staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 1973, Juster came to the University of Michigan as professor of economics and research scientist with the Institute for Social Research Survey Research Center, positions he held until 1996.[2] He served as director of the Institute for Social Research from 1976 to 1986. In this capacity, he led efforts to preserve social science funding from budget cuts and testified at congressional hearings as to the need for social science surveys and their importance for public policy.[3] Juster retired and was granted emeritus status in 1996. He served as acting director of the Michigan Retirement Research Center from 2001 to 2002.

Juster's work focused on assessing household savings and wealth and the measurement of time use in American families. In 1985, he co-edited, along with Frank Stafford, the book "Time, Goods, and Well-Being," which pioneered the use of time diaries in collecting time use data.[4]

Juster's most notable contribution to the field of social science was his role as founding director of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its companion study, Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD). The HRS was commissioned and funded by the National Institute on Aging and surveys over 26,000 participants over the age of 50 every two years.[5] It has been called "the premier study on retirement, pensions, and the interrelationships between health and economic status in the older population."[6] AHEAD focused on identifying and understanding changes in health, financial well-being, and family resources among the population aged 70 years and older.[7]

In addition to his professional work, Juster chaired many committees and often served in consultative and advisory roles, such as his position as senior advisor for the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity from 1970 to 1990. He was a member of numerous professional associations such as the American Statistical Association, International Sociological Association, and National Association of Business Economists and served on the editorial board of publications including The Review of Income and Wealth and Public Opinion Quarterly .[8].viii Juster was a 1993 recipient of the University of Michigan Senior Research Scientist Lectureship Award for "distinguished contributions to the intellectual environment of the University of Michigan and excellence in research."[9]

Juster died July 21, 2010 at the age of 83. He was survived by his wife Marie and children Thomas, Susan, Arnold, and Maria.


1. "U-M Economist F. Thomas Juster, Former ISR Director, Dies at 83." Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. http://www.isr.umich.edu/home/news/juster-obit.html (retrieved 18 June 2012). 2. Curriculum Vita, 2001, Box 2. 3. "U-M Economist" 4. "U-M Economist" 5. "About the Health and Retirement Study." The Regents of the University of Michigan. http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/ (retrieved 18 June 2012). 6. "U-M Economist" 7. AHEAD Program Description, Box 1. 8. Curriculum Vita, 2001, Box 2. 9. "U-M Economist"

From the guide to the F. Thomas Juster papers, 1960-2007, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
Social sciences--Research
Retirement--United States--Longitudinal studies
Social surveys


Birth 1926

Death 2010




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