Skip to main content


The Policy Explorer captures historical policy changes over the time of surveys covered by the Gateway. It was motivated by the evolution of policies affecting older people across the world. As many of the international network of studies cover more than a decade, understanding policy in place at the time of the survey has become more demanding for researchers. Why are we tracking past policy? Individuals make choices based on current policies and the outcomes we see today may reflect responses to past policies. When interpreting the survey responses of individuals, an understanding of the policy environment under which those individuals operate is critical. The information collected in the Policy Explorer aims to support researchers who want to understand or use policy change in their research and provide context for longitudinal or cross-country differences. The key dimensions to the Policy Explorer are country and time. We prioritize data collection for each country based on its first interview wave and are continuing to expand our data collection back in time to 1992, the start of the HRS.

  • Retirement policies, including public pension policies, social assistance, and health insurance
  • Long-term care policies, including public in-kind benefits, cash benefits, service voucher and 24-hour care systems

Additional types of policies including educational policies and COVID policies are also being developed and will be released as they are developed.

Current Policy Research Initiatives

Back to Top