Wolf’s research lies at the intersection of demography, gerontology, and public policy. His areas of expertise include changing family patterns and their consequences for living and care arrangements in late life; trends in late-life disability and the mix of family and formal care; and the health and worklife consequences of being a family caregiver. Wolf has served on the Government and Public Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors of the Population Association of America. He is a co-investigator for the National Health & Aging Trends Study, and has served on advisory boards of several data-collection and data-dissemination projects, as well as the editorial boards of several journals.
Examines changes in active life expectancy in the United States from 1982 to 2011 for older men and women. For older men, longevity has increased, disability has been postponed to older ages, disability prevalence has fallen, and the percentage of remaining life spent active has increased. However, for older women, small longevity increases have been accompanied by even smaller postponements in disability, a reversal of a downward trending moderate disability, and stagnation of active life as a percentage of life expectancy.
Shows that states with stronger economic output, more income equality, and long histories of state supplemental Earned Income Tax Credit have much lower disability.
Reports that a majority of older women receive spouse or widow Social Security benefits, an entitlement based on their marital history rather than their work history. Finds that in the future, changing marital and divorce patterns imply that slightly smaller proportions of white and Hispanic women, but a dramatically smaller proportion of black women, will qualify for these benefits.