Academic Researchers

Conducting and sponsoring rigorous academic research since 1998

With a team of economists and program staff, Fellows and strategic partners, the Institute conducts research and organizes convenings on critical issues related to financial security, higher education and endowments and foundations.

Academic Researchers

Initiatives to advance the academic community

The Institute provides an environment in which academic researchers can exchange ideas and expand their reach to affect public policy. Leaders use the knowledge provided by the Institute to make better-informed decisions.

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Institute Fellows are nationally recognized thought leaders and prominent scholars, experienced in matters of importance to TIAA and those we serve. These experts extend our knowledge, skills and reach, and advance our thought leadership. Fellows have conducted more than 100 Institute-sponsored research studies.

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The TIAA Institute supports original research and thought leadership through its grants program. Leading scholars are encouraged to submit innovative research ideas on financial security, higher education and endowments and foundations. The TIAA Institute, with the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, funds high-quality, cutting-edge research on retirement policy and practice.

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The Institute’s signature award programs are designed to advance knowledge and recognize leadership excellence. The TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award For Outstanding Scholarly Writing On Lifelong Financial Security recognizes an outstanding research publication that helps advance Americans’ lifelong financial well-being. The TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education recognizes a current higher education leader for commitment to higher education, leadership and contributions to the greater good.

Latest Research Reports

June 2020

Poor financial capability can contribute to a host of problems, particularly for people close to retirement.

June 2020

Behavioral prompts that encourage reflection on goals and future needs can have significant effects on asset allocation decisions and expected returns.

June 2020

Even with all the theoretical reasons to purchase life annuities, few retirees do so. What role do emotions and social norms play in annuity product uptake?

June 2020

Retirement plans differ in whether employee or employer contributions are mandated, leaving a critical role for voluntary contributions.

June 2020

What happens when workers suffer a decrease in total wealth due to changes in their retirement plan’s benefit levels?

June 2020

Automatic enrollment has proven to be a powerful means of encouraging retirement plan participation in the private sector.