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.


May 2017
Compared to previous generations, older women today carry more debt and are facing retirement in a more financially precarious position.
February 2016
Participants in self-directed retirement plans may fail to understand and mitigate investment and longevity risk, putting their retirement security at risk. Variable deferred annuities with lifetime income and investment guarantees could rectify the problem.
September 2014
This paper undertakes an assessment of a rapidly growing body of economic research on financial literacy.