John B. Williamson is currently a professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology at Boston College. He is also an affiliated researcher at the Center for Retirement Research. His bachelor degree is from MIT and his Ph.D. is from Harvard University
Between 2011 and 2016 he served as an associate editor of The Gerontologist and has served on the editorial board for a total of nine journals.
He is the author, co-author, or editor of 18 books and approximately 170 articles published in professional journals or edited anthologies. He has presented professional papers in 18 countries and has published books and articles in 7 foreign languages.
In recent years his research has focused on trends in ageism, social security and pension policy in the United States and many other countries around the world, particularly China. He has given particular attention to the actual and the proposed partial privatization of social security schemes. His past research deals with such topics as the politics of aging, the senior rights movement, the debate over generational equity and generational accounting. He has also authored or co-authored many articles based cross-national aggregate data dealing with such topics as: life expectancy, infant mortality, environmental degradation, suicide rates, homicide rates, women’s status, and corruption. His most recent work involves an analysis of the acceptance of the practice of physician aid in dying in nine states in the United states as well as six other countries around the world.
Appointed Associate Editor for Policy Studies, The Gerontologist, 2011-2016.
Elected Member, Executive Board, Research Committee on the Sociology of Aging (RC11), International Sociological Association, 2010-2014.
Elected Chair, Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section, Gerontological Society of America, 2007.
Elected Secretary/Treasurers, Section on Aging and the Life Course, American Sociological Association, 1996.
Elected Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America, 2001.
Elected to membership in the National Academy of Social Insurance, 1991.
Elected Chair, Youth, Aging and Life Course Division, Society for the Study of Social Problems, 1984.
McNamara, Tay K. and John B. Williamson. 2019. Ageism: Past, Present, and Future New York: Routledge.
Wang, Xinmei, John B. Williamson, and Mehmet Cansoy. 2016. "Developing Countries and Systemic Pension Reforms: Reflections on Some Emerging Problems," International Social Security Review 69(2): 85-106.
Williamson, John B. and Daniel Béland. 2016. “The Future of Retirement Security in Comparative Perspective.” Pp. 461-481 in Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, (8th edition) Edited by Linda K. George and Kenneth F. Ferraro. San Diego: Academic Press.
McNamara, Tay and John B. Williamson. 2013. Unequal Prospects: Is Working Longer the Answer? New York: Routledge.
Williamson, John B., Meghan Price, and Ce Shen. 2012. “Pension Policy in China, Singapore, and South Korea: An Assessment of the Potential Value of the Notional Defined Contribution Model.” Journal of Aging Studies 26 (1): 79-89.
Williamson, John B. and Anna Rhodes. 2011. “A Critical Assessment of Generational Accounting and Its Contribution to the Generational Equity Debate.” International Journal of Ageing and Later Life 6 (1): 33-57.
Williamson, John B., Ce Shen, and Yinan Yang. 2009. “Which Pension Model Holds the Most Promise for China: A Funded Defined Contribution Scheme, A Notional Defined Contribution Scheme, or a Universal Social Pension?” The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice 17 (2): 101-111.
Williamson, John B., Stephanie A. Howling and Michelle Maroto. 2006. "The Political Economy of Pension Reform in Russia: Why Partial Privatization?" Journal of Aging Studies 20 (2): 165-175.
Williamson, John B. and Matthew Williams. 2005. "Notional Defined Contribution Accounts: Neoliberal Ideology and the Political Economy of Pension Reform." American Journal of Economics and Sociology 64(2):485-506.
Williamson, John B., Diane M. Watts-Roy, and Eric R. Kingson, eds. 1999. The Generational Equity Debate. New York: Columbia University Press.
Williamson, John B. and Fred C. Pampel. 1998. "Does the Privatization of Social Security Make Sense for Developing Nations." International Social Security Review 51(4):3-31.
Williamson, John B. and Fred C. Pampel. 1993. Old Age Security in Comparative Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press. Received special mention in the 1994 Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Award competition. In 2002 was published in Chinese by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Pampel, Fred C. and John B. Williamson. 1989. Age, Class, Politics, and the Welfare State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This book was selected by the American Sociological Association for inclusion in the Rose Monograph Series.
Pampel, Fred C. and John B. Williamson. 1988. "Welfare Spending in Advanced Industrial Democracies." American Journal of Sociology 93:1424-1456.
Pampel, Fred C. and John B. Williamson. 1985. "Age, Structure, Politics, and Cross-National Patterns of Public Pension Expenditures." American Sociological Review December 50:782-799.
Williamson, John B., Judith A. Shindul and Linda Evans. 1985. Aging and Public Policy: Social Control or Social Justice? Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas.