Behavioral Finance

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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. 

Insights

Also produced by the TIAA Institute, Insights features reports addressing prominent issues in financial security, higher education, and philanthropy. While typically written for a primarily non-technical audience, Insights are prepared using the same level of academic rigor found in our other research publications, and can serve as valuable sources of information for a diverse group of readers.

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?

Research 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 more academic audiences.

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.

December 2015

As employer-sponsored savings vehicles, like 401(k)s, become a major source of retirement income for millions of Americans, personal biases can have an outsized impact on retirement security.

November 2015

Delaying increased contributions to a retirement plan can actually boost retirement savings, but it all depends on how the delay is positioned.