Brigitte Madrian

Brigitte Madrian

Brigitte Madrian

Dean and Marriott Distinguished Professor
Brigham Young University

Brigitte C. Madrian is the Dean and Marriott Distinguished Professor in the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business where she has a joint appointment in the Department of Finance and the George W. Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics. Before coming to BYU, she was on the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School (2006-2018), the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School (2003-2006), the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (1995-2003) and the Harvard University Economics Department (1993-1995).  She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and served as co-director of the NBER Household Finance working group from 2010-2018.

Dr. Madrian’s research focuses on behavioral economics and household finance, with a particular focus on household saving and investment behavior.  Her work in this area has impacted the design of employer-sponsored savings plans in the U.S. and has influenced pension reform legislation both in the U.S. and abroad. She also uses the lens of behavioral economics to understand health behaviors and improve health outcomes


Professional Achievements

  • Three-time recipient of the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award (2002, 2011 and 2017).
  • Recipient of the Retirement Income Industry Association Achievement in Applied Retirement Research Award.
  • Research associate and co-director of the Household Finance working group at the National Bureau of Economic Research.


September 2005
Employer-sponsored savings plan are only a useful tool for helping employees save for retirement to the extent that employees actually participate.
January 2013
Annuities are not popular despite providing valuable insurance against outliving one’s savings.
September 2013
We conduct and analyze two large surveys of hypothetical annuitization choices. We find that allowing individuals to annuitize a fraction of their wealth increases annuitization relative to a situation where annuitization is an “all or nothing” decision.