TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award For Outstanding Scholarly Writing On Lifelong Financial Security


Named in honor of Nobel Prize winner and former CREF trustee Paul A. Samuelson, this prestigious award is presented by the Institute annually to recognize an outstanding research publication that can help advance Americans’ lifelong financial wellbeing. The winner is chosen by an independent panel of judges – consisting of Institute Fellows and previous award winners – and receives a $10,000 cash prize.

Submissions may be theoretical or empirical in nature, as long as the subject is directly relevant to lifelong financial security. The research must be in the form of a book or article published between June 30, 2014, and June 30, 2016. Self-published works are not eligible. Submissions need to be postmarked no later than September 11, 2016.

To submit an entry, please complete and return this application. (PDF)

Felix Reichling and Kent Smetters Named 2016 Samuelson Award Winners

On January 6, 2017, the TIAA Institute announced that Felix Reichling of the Congressional Budget Office and Kent Smetters of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania won the 21st annual Samuelson Award for their paper “Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality and Correlated Medical Costs,” which was published in The American Economic Review in November 2015.

“This paper addresses what factors influence households’ decisions to annuitize, a topic that is extremely important for lifelong financial well-being,” said Gopi Shah Goda of Stanford University, one of this year’s Samuelson Award judges. “One of many things the paper makes clear is that incomplete markets to insure against disability and long-term care expenditure risk can influence annuity markets. I expect the findings will help shape product innovation that will ultimately improve financial security for many, and I’m thrilled this paper was chosen to win the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award this year.”

2016 Samuelson Award Winners
From left: Gopi Shah Goda (award judge), Felix Reichling, Kent Smetters, Bob McDonald (award judge) and Dave Richardson (TIAA institute)

“I want to congratulate Felix Reichling and Kent Smetters on compiling an outstanding piece of research and data that will help Americans plan for retirement,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, senior managing director and head of TIAA Institute. “This thorough analysis will be a useful tool for financial advisors and other stakeholders in helping their clients pick the best option for lifelong financial security. We believe that lifetime income products, like annuities, are essential for many individuals to achieve a financially secure retirement.”

About the Paul A. Samuelson Award

The award is named after Nobel Prize winner Paul A. Samuelson in honor of his achievements in the field of economics, as well as for his service as a CREF trustee from 1974 to 1985. The award winner is selected by a panel of distinguished judges that includes TIAA Institute fellows and previous award recipients. This year's judges were:

TIAA Institute announced the winners at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations on January 6, 2017, in Chicago. Click here (PDF) to learn more.

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See all Previous Winners 

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