Melissa Hardy

Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Demography<br
Director, Graduate Program in Sociology<br
502 Oswald Tower University Park , PA 16802
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Melissa Hardy’s research addresses the adult life course, studying when and how work, retirement, and disability transitions occur. Much of this work emphasizes the role of socioeconomic status in defining the opportunities and constraints that shape these decisions, economic inequality in later life, and the role of education and occupation in defining exits out of the labor force. Her more recent work expands on these interests by concentrating on a wider range of health outcomes (including mortality); comparisons with other countries; gender, race/ethnic, and nativity differences in attainment processes and outcomes; and the linkage between family or origin characteristics, career trajectories, and later life circumstances. She relies on a variety of longitudinal data sets such as SHARE, HRS, and SIPP while also working with collaborators to expand information for the original cohorts of the National Longitudinal Surveys. Professor Hardy teaches courses on the demography of aging, the life course, and quantitative methods.

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