TRB Category: 

Joe Coughlin

Founder and Director of MIT AgeLab

Featured Projects

Research and Background

Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D., is founder and Director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research seeks to understand the impacts of global demographic change, social trends and technology on consumer behavior, innovations in business, and public policy. Dr. Coughlin teaches in MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning and the Sloan School's Advanced Management Program. He is the author of The Longevity Economy: Inside the World's Fastest Growing, Most Misunderstood Market, and is a regular contributor to Forbes. He is currently at work on a new book about the future of retirement. A researcher, teacher and speaker, Dr. Coughlin is a frequent guest on news programs; his work has been featured in both print and on television, including ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, NBC, News Asia, The Economist, Financial Times, The Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets throughout the world.

Contact Info

Joe Coughlin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room E40-279,
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


Research Interests

How framing influences decision-making across generation & gender, e.g., health, well-being & retirement

What impact does the media have on Millennial, Gex X & Boomer trust and use of advice?

How does global longevity disrupt the current economy and create new investment opportunities?

Impact of generational lifestyles on the future of transportation and community/real estate development?

Factors affecting human-machine interaction/technology adoption across age and gender, e.g., IoT, autonomous vehicles, robotics, telecare

How will the sharing economy influence consumer behavior and support an aging society?


Selected Academic Publications

Chaiwoo Lee, Julie Miller, Lisa D’Ambrosio, Dana Ellis, & Joseph Coughlin. (2016). Grandma's taking an Uber: The Sharing Economy and the Oldest Old. The Future of Platforms as Sites or Work, Collaboration and Trust - Workshop held as part of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2016), San Francisco, CA

DaDalt, O. and Coughlin, J.F. (2016). Managing financial well-being in the shadow of Alzheimer’s Disease. Public Policy and Aging Report, 26(1), 36-38.

Lavallière, M., D’Ambrosio, L., Gennis, A., Burstein, A., Godfrey, K. M., Waerstad, H., Puleo, R. M., Lauenroth, A., & Coughlin, J. F. (2016). Walking a mile in another’s shoes: The impact of wearing an age suit. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, DOI: 10.1080/02701960.2015.1079706

Burstein, A.A., DaDalt, O., Kramer, B., D’Ambrosio, L.A., Coughlin, J.F. (2015). Dementia caregivers and technology: Interest outstrips awareness. Gerontechnology, 14(1), 45-56.

Lee, C., Mehler, B., Reimer, B. & Coughlin, J. F. (2015). User perceptions toward in-vehicle technologies: Relationships to age, health, preconceptions and hands-on experience, International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 31(10): 667-681.

Lavallière, M., Arezes, P., Burstein, A., & Coughlin, J. F. (2015, 12-13th February). The Quantified-Self and wearable technologies in the workplace: implications and challenges. Paper presented at the International Symposium on Occupational Safety and Hygiene SHO2015, Guimarães, Portugal.

McWilliams, T., Reimer, B., Mehler, B., Dobres, J., & Coughlin, J (2015). Effects of age and smartphone experience on driver behavior during address entry: a comparison between a Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone. Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications, Nottingham, UK, September 1-3, 2015.

Lee, C. & Coughlin, J.F. (2014). Older adults' adoption of technology: an integrated approach to identifying determinants and barriers, Journal of Product Innovation Management 32(5): 747-759

Coughlin, J.F., (2014) Navigating longevity and mapping the new frontier of financial advisory value. LIMRA SRI Digest, Issue 2

Shibata, T. & Coughlin. J.F. (2014) Trends of robot therapy with neurological therapeutic seal robot, PARO. Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics Vol.26 No.4

Coughlin, J.F. (2014) Technology, innovation and developing a nextgen aging services workforce. Public Policy & Aging, Vol. 24, Issue 1

Ellis, D. & Coughlin, J. F. (2014). Just When We Need It Most: Trust, Technology, and Navigating Old Age. Public Policy & Aging Report, 24(1): 18-20.

Lee, C., Mehler, A.C., Reimer, B., Mehler, B. & Coughlin, J.F. (2014). Relationship between drivers’ self-reported health and technology perceptions across the lifespan, The 6th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications

Coughlin, J.F. (2014) “Disruptive demographics: The new business of old age” in The Upside of Aging: How long life is hanging the world of health, work, innovation, policy and purpose. P. Irving (Editor), New York: Wiley.

Reimer, B., Mehler, B., Dobres, J., Coughlin, J.F., Matteson, S., Gould, D., Chahine, N. & Levantovsky, V. (2014). Assessing the Impact of Typeface Design in a Text Rich Automotive User Interface. Ergonomics, 57(11)

Lee, C., Myrick, R., Asai, D., Coughlin, J.F. & de Weck, O.L. (2013). Learning from a design experience: continuous user involvement in development of aging-in-place solution for older adults, International Conference on Engineering Design

Asai, D., Orszulak, J., Lee, C., Myrick, R., D’Ambrosio, L., Coughlin, J.F. & de Weck, O.L. (2013). Using mature children living apart to improve parents’ medication compliance, ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing

Lee, C., D’Ambrosio, L., Myrick, R., Coughlin, J.F. & de Weck, O.L. (2013). Analysis of user-generated multimedia data on medication management and consumption behavior using data mining techniques, 7th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction

Lee, C., Myrick, R., D’Ambrosio, L., Coughlin, J.F. & de Weck, O.L. (2013). Older adults’ experiences with technology: learning from their voices, 15th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction