John B. Williamson's Home Page


ohn B. Williamson has written extensively about the comparative study of social welfare policies, particularly those dealing with the elderly. Some of his recent work has been based on the comparative historical method, some on the comparative structural analysis of alternative pension policy models, and some on quantitative cross-national analysis. Much of his most current research and writing has been dealing with:

  1. The comparative study of social security systems.
  2. The debate over the privatization of Social Security.
  3. The future of retriement security.
  4. The debate over generational equity, generational interdependence, and justice between generations in connection with Social Security and the allocation societal resources more generally.
  5. The social, economic, and political determinants of cross-national differences in various health and social welfare outcomes. His research in this genre has dealt with such issues as cross-national differences in income inequality, social welfare spending, spending on public pensions, child mortality, maternal mortality, life expectancy, suicide rates, perceived corruption levels, and environmental degradation.

He is a professor in the Sociology Department at Boston College.  He is also affiliated with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and with the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College.  His email address is He has presented papers in 19 countries, and pubished books or articles in 7 languages (via translations). He has also co-authored articles, chapters, and books with 59 students.