Stephen P. Zeldes


Stephen P. Zeldes

Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Columbia Business School; Co-director of Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy
Columbia University

Stephen P. Zeldes is the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Columbia Business School and co-director of Columbia University’s
Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy. He is also a research associate and director of the Household Finance Working Group at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Before joining the Columbia faculty in 1996, Zeldes was a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In his research, Zeldes has examined a wide range of applied issues in both macroeconomics and household finance, and his work has been published in leading academic journals. The courses he teaches include an interdisciplinary course titled “The Psychology and Economics of Consumer Finance.” He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Pension Research Council and the Academic Advisory Council of the Consumer Finance Institute at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Zeldes earned his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1984 and his bachelor’s degree in economics and applied mathematics from Brown University in 1978.

Professional Achievements

  • Received the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for Social Security Money's Worth (with John Geanakoplos and Olivia S. Mitchell, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).
  • Received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in a Core Course, 2012.
  • Received the Dean’s Award for Innovation in the Curriculum, 2013.


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.