Olivia S. Mitchell

Olivia S. Mitchell photo

Olivia S. Mitchell

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor

Professor of Insurance and Risk Management and Business Economics and Public Policy

Executive Director, Pension Research Council

University of Pennsylvania

Olivia S. Mitchell is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor; professor of insurance/risk management and business economics/public policy; Executive Director of the Pension Research Council; and Director of the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research; all at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The author or coauthor of over 230 books and articles, Mitchell serves as independent trustee on the Wells Fargo Fund Boards; co-investigator for the Health and Retirement Study at the University of Michigan; and executive board member of the Michigan Retirement Research Center. She earned her B.A. in economics from Harvard University and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Professional Achievements

  • Received the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for Prospects for Social Security Reform (with John Geanakoplos and Stephen P. Zeldes, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).
  • Research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Awarded the Roger F. Murray First Prize, Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance.


June 2020
Poor financial capability can contribute to a host of problems, particularly for people close to retirement.
June 2019
Opportunities to borrow increased considerably in the U.S. over the past few decades, and many Americans today are approaching retirement with high levels of debt.
September 2014
This paper undertakes an assessment of a rapidly growing body of economic research on financial literacy.