Behavioral Finance

Behavioral Finance Icon
The psychology of decision making

How information is presented, or “framed,” and other personal biases affect decision-making. The TIAA Institute focuses on such issues as how to motivate people to make decisions about when to claim Social Security, whether or not to annuitize, and how to save for retirement. 

TIAA Institute Reports

Original research produced by the TIAA Institute—both independently and in collaboration with noted scholars—examines topics of interest to the academic, nonprofit and public sectors. The reports combine statistical findings with thoughtful, data-driven observations and conclusions to provide in-depth analyses that are informative and appropriate for both technical and general audiences.

June 2019

When making financial decisions under uncertain conditions, do people actually behave as widely used theories predict?

January 2019

Given the choice between a smaller immediate payout or a larger future payout, people generally prefer rewards sooner rather than later, a tendency called temporal discounting.

January 2019

Given the choice between a smaller immediate payout or a larger future payout, people generally prefer rewards sooner rather than later, a tendency called temporal discounting.

July 2018

Understanding the prevalence, diversity and predictive power of behavioral factors—deviations from classical assumptions about consumer choice—is critical for theory, research and policy.

June 2018

Conventional economic models assume that investors confronted with risky choices maximize expected utility; yet in the real world, people are prone to making predictable errors.

June 2018

Understanding the prevalence, diversity and predictive power of behavioral factors—deviations from classical assumptions about consumer choice—is critical for theory, research and policy.

June 2018

Conventional economic models assume that investors confronted with risky choices maximize expected utility; yet in the real world, people are prone to making predictable errors.

June 2018

As older Americans tap into their retirement funds, they often face a choice between receiving a smaller, immediate payout and a larger, future payout. How does memory affect these “intertemporal” choices?

June 2016

More than 30 million Americans are projected to retire in the next decade – and most have not saved nearly enough for retirement. Moreover, almost half of all Social Security recipients claim benefits at the earliest possible age (62), which can greatly reduce their total lifetime benefits.