Ronald Lee
Professor of the Graduate School
CEDA, Demography Department, Population Center
mathematical demography, intergenerational transfers, economic demography
Inequalities and Health Disparities, Health, Disability, and Mortality, Biodemography, Data Science, Demographic and Fiscal Consequences of Global Aging, Formal Demography
(510) 640-8986
2232 Piedmont Ave. (office hours by appointment)


Ronald Lee is a demographer and economist, with a MA in Demography from Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. Since 1979 he has been at the University of California at Berkeley, currently as a Professor of the Graduate School in Demography and Economics. He is the founding Director of the Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging at Berkeley, now Associate Director. Throughout his career, he has taught economic demography. His current research focuses on the macroeconomic consequences of changing population age distributions and on intergenerational transfers and population aging. He co-directs with Andrew Mason the National Transfer Accounts project, which includes collaborating research teams in more than 50 countries, and estimates intergenerational flows of resources through the public and private sectors ( He continues to work on modeling and forecasting demographic variables including mortality and on evolutionary biodemography, in particular the role of intergenerational transfers in life history theory. From 2010-2015 he co-chaired a National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Long-run Macroeconomic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy; he is a former President of the Population Association of America and a Laureate of the international population association, the IUSSP.

CV: Downloadable above

Downloadable Papers: This page includes all of Ron Lee's downloadable papers, including but not limited to those pertaining to aging.)

NBER Profile: An NBER profile of Ron Lee, in the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health


  • Demography/Economics C175: Introduction to Economic Demography (syllabus from Spring 2013)
    This course examines various economic and social causes and consequences of population change. The consequences studied include the economic impact of immigrants on US workers and taxpayers, the growing pension burden as populations age, the effect of population growth on economic growth, and environmental consequences of population growth. The course also examines the economic causes of demographic behavior including fertility, marriage, and labor supply. How have the functions of the family changed during the course of economic development, and how do they continue to change today? Why have divorce and extramarital fertility risen so much, while fertility has fallen way below replacement in many countries, and marriages are postponed to later ages or foregone altogether? How are these profound changes in family life related to the changing economic roles of women, and to economic growth? Finally, the course considers whether there is a gap between individual and societal net benefits to childbearing, which would provide grounds for government intervention to alter birth rates.

  • Demography 275/Economics C275A: Economics of Population (syllabus from Spring 2013)
    Economic Demography teaches economic consequences of demographic change in developed and developing countries, for savings and capital formation,labor markets and intergenerational transfers. It also considers economic influences on family, fertility, migration, health and mortality.