Gretchen Donehower

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Research Program
gretchen [at]
Ph.D. demography, University of California, Berkeley
Area of Expertise: 

Quantitative methods and measurement; intergenerational transfers; economic consequences of population aging; gender and economic activity; women's economic empowerment; time use 

Research Experience

Project Director, Counting Women’s Work Project (January, 2014 – present) Department of Demography, University of California at Berkeley

Developed methodology to produce age- and sex-specific estimates of the value of unpaid housework and care, to add this dimension to the National Transfer Accounts project (NTA,; raised funds for a nine-country collaborative project to produce estimates and disseminate results and policy implications of research to academic and policy audiences.

Academic Specialist, Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging (December, 2005 – present), Department of Demography, University of California at Berkeley

  • Vice-chair of the National Transfer Accounts (NTA, project involving researchers from more than 70 countries in Asia, North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Pacific; develops methodology to produce age- and sex-specific estimates of economic activity at the national level as part of NTA; maintains NTA estimates for the United States, trains and advises NTA teams throughout 50+ country network; uses results to describe the generational aspect of how nations produce, consume, share and save.
  • Coordinates global efforts to incorporate gender perspective into project by creating economic accounts by gender and adding unpaid household production as measured in time-use surveys.
  • Maintains forecasting and simulation tools developed by researchers affiliated with the Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging (CEDA) and develops new tools in conjunction with CEDA researchers.

Graduate Student Researcher, Century of Difference Project (September, 2001 – August, 2004)

Analyzed data on residential segregation, household, community and cultural change in the United States over the twentieth century. Project used Census aggregate- and micro-level data, large-scale survey data, and demographic microsimulation. Research was compiled in volume published in 2006.

Informal Collaborator, Research on Howler Monkey Demography (January, 2002 – December, 2003)

Formulated and ran statistical analyses on demographic field data on Howler Monkeys, estimating population parameters over time and how they related to environmental data on rainfall and food availability in a neotropical forest environment.

Graduate Student Researcher, Beyond Six Billion Project (October, 2000 – December, 2000)

Ran Monte Carlo simulations to estimate variability in fertility estimates, for National Research Council report “Beyond Six Billion: Forecasting the World’s Population,” published in 2000.


Gretchen Donehower, and Miroslav Verbič (2016) “Incorporating household production into the National Transfer Accounts for Slovenia.” Post-Communist Economies, 28(2): 249-267.

Jorge Bravo, Mun Sim, Lai, Gretchen Donehower, and Iván Mejía-Guevara (2015) “Ageing and retirement security: United States of America and Mexico.” Chapter 5 in Challenges of Latino Aging in the Americas. William A. Vega, Kyriakos S. Markides, Jacqueline L. Angel, and Fernando M. Torres-Gil, eds. Springer, Cham. pp. 77-89.

Ronald Lee, Andrew Mason, et al. (2014) “Is low fertility really a problem? Population aging, dependency, and consumption.” Science, 346(6206):229-234.

Gretchen S. Donehower and Carl Boe (2012) “Appendix A. Population and Related Projections Made by the Committee.” Technical Appendix to National Research Council’s Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-Term Implications of an Older Population. Committee on the Long-Run Macroeconomic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population. Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. pp. 219-231.

Douglas A. Wolf, Ronald Lee, Timothy Miller, Gretchen Donehower and Alexandre Genest (2011) “The Fiscal Externalities of Becoming a Parent,” Population and Development Review, 37 (2): 241-266.

Ronald Lee and Gretchen Donehower (2011) “Private transfers in comparative perspective,” Chapter 8 in Population Aging and the Generational Economy: A Global Perspective. Ronald D. Lee and Andrew Mason, eds. Edward Elgar, UK. pp. 185-208.

Ronald Lee, Gretchen Donehower, and Timothy Miller (2011) “The changing shape of the economic lifecycle in the United States, 1960 to 2003,” Chapter 15 in Population Aging and the Generational Economy: A Global Perspective. Ronald D. Lee and Andrew Mason, eds. Edward Elgar, UK. pp. 313-326.

Ronald Lee and Gretchen Donehower (2010) "Population aging, intergenerational transfers, and economic growth: Latin America in a Global Context", Notas de población, Issue Number 90. (in Spanish).

Andrew Mason, Ronald Lee, Gretchen Donehower, Sang-Hyop Lee, Tim Miller, An-Chi Tung, Amonthep Chawla. (2009) National Transfer Accounts Version 1.0. Technical Manual for the National Transfer Accounts project, available through

K. J. Milton, J. Giacalone, S. J. Wright and G. Stockmayer (2005). “Do Population Fluctuations of Neotropical Mammals Reflect Fruit Production Estimates? The Evidence from Barro Colorado Island.” in Tropical Fruits and Frugivores: The Search for Strong Interactions. L. Dew and J.P. Boubli, eds. Springer-Verlag, The Netherlands.

Claude S. Fischer, Gretchen Stockmayer, Jon Stiles and Michael Hout (2004). “Distinguishing the Geographic Levels and Social Dimensions of U.S. Metropolitan Segregation: 1960-2000.” Demography, 41(1): 37-59.

Teaching Experience

Trainer, Counting Women’s Work Project (January 2014 – present), University of California at Berkeley and East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

Developed and taught methodology in countries all over the world, to describe the value and age incidence of unpaid care and housework and add this unmeasured part of the economy into the framework of the National Transfer Accounts project.

Trainer, National Transfer Accounts (NTA) Project (January 2007 – present), University of California at Berkeley and East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Taught NTA methods to researchers from all over the world, to describe the generational (age-specific) nature of production, consumption, sharing and saving in their countries.
  • Coordinated workshops on adding gender dimension to National Transfer Accounts research.

Instructor of Team-Taught Laboratory Course (January – June of 2006 and 2007), University of California at Berkeley, Department of Demography

Assisted students in all laboratory sessions of a graduate-level Demography course. Developed and delivered all lectures and labs for four weeks of the semester.

Head Teaching Assistant (January, 2001 – June, 2001), University of California at Berkeley, Department of Demography

Administered and taught sections of Economic Demography course for 300 students. Supervised six Graduate Student Instructors and Readers.

Graduate Student Instructor (January, 2000 – June, 2000), University of California at Berkeley, Department of Demography

Taught sections for Economic Demography Course.


Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award (Academic Year 2000-2001), Graduate Student Instructor Teaching and Resource Center, University of California at Berkeley

Poster Session Award (March, 2001), Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Washington, DC

Four-Year Graduate Student Trainee Fellowship (September, 1998 – May, 2002), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Other Work Experience

Technical Consultant (2014 – present), Div. of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC

Performed original research on fiscal impacts of immigrants in the United States, updating work done over 20 years ago in a previous NAS report on immigration, drafted results write-up to be included as a chapter in forthcoming NAS report.

Private Consultant (2009 – present)

Occasional quantitative consulting provided to clients for short-term projects. Past projects have involved estimating potential market size, technical writing, statistical evaluation of research experiments, and policy analyses.

Technical Consultant (June, 2010 – December, 2012), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York, NY

Drafted chapters and appendices of technical manual on developing National Transfer Accounts estimates of economic activity by age. Revised chapters based on several expert group meetings. Manual will become an official United Nations technical document.

Research Statistician (September, 2004 – December, 2005), Scientific Learning, Inc., Oakland, CA

Designed and conducted experiments and performed statistical analyses to evaluate and enhance the impact of software programs on student achievement in language and literacy. Monitored and evaluated research on educational interventions to raise awareness of the company's research in the education community.

Consulting Associate and Team Leader (April, 1996 – May, 1998), Cambridge Associates, Inc., Boston, MA

Managed research, data collection and analysis and client service for institutional investment consulting clients and supervised team of six consulting associates.

Mathematics and English Teacher and Teacher Trainer (September, 1993 – December, 1995), His Majesty’s Government/U.S. Peace Corps, Nepal

Taught fourth and sixth grade students mathematics and English in rural Nepalese school. Trained secondary-level mathematics teachers in new mathematics curriculum. Wrote, field-tested and revised curricula for Nepalese national teacher training effort.

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