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Pension Design and Structure

New Lessons from Behavioral Finance

Edited by Olivia S. Mitchell and Stephen P. Utkus

Employees are being given more and more decisions to make with regards to their pension and healthcare plans.

Yet increasing research in the social sciences shows that the decisions ‘real’ people make are not those of the thoughtful and well-informed economic agent often portrayed in economic research, but are often based on flawed information and made without a full understanding of their financial implications.

The contributors to Pension Design and Structure explore the assumptions behind commonly-held theories of retirement decision-making, and the consequences of the growing volume of research in behavioral finance and economics for the field of pension research. Using large datasets newly provided by financial service firms and real-world experiments, this volume tests the hypotheses of this research.

This is the first book to explore the implications of behavioral finance research for pensions and retirement studies, and uses frontier research from several fields, including Finance, Economics, Management, Sociology, and Psychology. Contributors include leading pensions experts.

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About the Authors

Olivia S. Mitchell

Dr. Olivia S. Mitchell is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor, as well as Professor of Insurance/Risk Management and Business Economics/Policy; Executive Director of the Pension Research Council; and Director of the Boettner Center on Pensions and Retirement Research; all at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her main areas of interest are private and public insurance, risk management, public finance, labour markets, compensation, and pensions with both a US and an international focus. She is a Re ... More

Stephen P. Utkus

Stephen P. Utkus is principal and director of the Vanguard Center for Investor Research. The Center conducts and sponsors research on investor behavior and decision-making. It also works to apply behavioral insights to real-world settings. The Center's scope includes individual investors (whether direct, advised, or in defined contribution plans) and institutional investors. The Center's work will be of interest to investors, advisors, consultants, employers, media, the research community, and policymakers. Mr. Utkus's personal research inte ... More

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